September Changes

It finally happened, I finally had had enough. I resigned from my contracting work last Friday. I gave 2 weeks notice but was told to leave immediately. I guess the owner had had enough too.

It really sucks to resign and then have it feel like being fired. Since I refused to sign the dodgy contract, the owner showed me. Signing would have ensured 2 weeks notice from either party. That was about the only fair condition in the contract.

I spent Friday afternoon feeling sad and bewildered. I went for a bushwalk. I ate pizza. I bought a tub of icecream. I watched a chick flick. I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to the clients. I’ve looked after some of them for almost 5 years. I’m hoping some of them will find me in my home clinic as I advertise.

I have so many thoughts circling around in my head. About how crap my work environment had become, going over emails and conversations and talks with industry professionals and colleagues and the lack of heart that resulted from all the formalities. It did my head in. It was mega stressful. And the work I did helping run someone else’s business was hard. It turned out that a new owner didn’t appreciate me or the other contractors. I had really put my heart and soul into that place and done so much unpaid time and extra work over the years that it’s a big thing to let go of. I feel the need to do some kind of ritual where I honour myself and let go.

Meanwhile in the last few months, my own business started booming. Regular clients. Clients in the home. My paid advertising was working. I was rushing around taking bookings. And oh, the towels. Laundering towels morning, noon and night. It was exciting but always scares me that the work may not last. I purchased a lighter massage table, more towels, I made giddy plans for getting a website together and more advertising bit by bit as money comes in.

I fell behind in my gardening work. I was working  6 or 7 days of the week but still couldn’t keep up. I currently have a backlog and will catch up in the next week or two. I considered advertising for more gardening work but honestly, my heart’s not in it. I am bored when I’m working. I like my own garden where I can effect more change. More gardening work is a last resort if my other leads dry up.

I’ve had family and friends come to stay during this time and been grumpy as I’ve had too much happening. I’m actually an introvert. I need down time and alone time. Ha!

And also, for the last few months I’ve been applying for jobs and going to interviews. Phone interviews. Those horrid group interviews. One-on-one interviews. I’ve been applying for any retail work I can do part-time/casual while I work on my own business and just to replace my other work.

It is a lot, isn’t it? I have had a lot on my plate. I’ve been scattered. I’m always doing lots of different things and never know what to focus on. I don’t feel that I do things well, just get them done.

I also haven’t had time to care for myself. I need to dye my hair again, get a hair cut. I have barely had any exercise. Fortunately, I’m sleeping well but just don’t feel I’m looking after myself.

And after a few days of being one job down, I woke up this morning confused about what to do. I have free time this week and needed to decide whether to do gardening work, advertise my massage work or more job applications. I’m used to having high stress levels push me through my day. There’s always a pressing matter, client, laundry, job application or task to do so I do the most urgent thing and work through my list.

I don’t want that lifestyle anymore. I want simplicity. I don’t mind having a full life but routine is good and simplifying is good.

This morning, as I checked my email, I discovered that I have progressed in a job application and need to supply some documents and gain a certificate that I can do online. I’m working on those now and just wanted to write to start to get my thoughts out of my head.

I’m looking forward to lower stress levels. I like the idea of retail as something different, having people around me, that will have stress levels matching the role (pretty low once I’m used to it). It will be an activity that I get paid for and can do temporarily (and hopefully won’t suck) as I further my own business.

Do they go together? I’ve been reading a lot about having passive income, making some kind of digital product that will sell as you sleep. That’s my aim, to get a book or online course together eventually.

For now, being rid of a super stressful job situation and able to pay the bills are at the top of the list. I can feel that my thoughts are still jumping form one thing to another so meditating and writing and imagining how I want my life to be are what I’ll be doing… after I get these latest documents together.

On to better times…

 

Posted in Inner World

Loose Change

I’ve almost completely given up on this blog. I have a deep calling to write from a business blog but am finding that one difficult to get going.

Wow, I was really pissed off in my last entry. My Easter holiday was amazing but way too short. We had an amazing time and came home straight back into drama. When we have holidays, I feel anxiety returning the closer we get to home. It’s part of my life now…

However, a few months ago I spiralled down into depression. I looked at all the crap and just stopped caring. For a while. I felt really really bad. It felt like a reality check. I let go of all the hope I’d been carrying and looked reality in the face. I didn’t like what I saw.

But depression is not a place for me to linger for long these days. I felt the old familiar depressive feelings and then dealt with my world again. I decided that I’d feel better if I could control something and had an animal to love and be loved and so asked the landlord if we could have a dog. I wrote a letter, contacted them every two weeks, we had a rental inspection. A few days ago they said YES!

It seems that I’m making changes though and dog adoption will have to wait until the time is right. The good news is I’ve paid off my debts. Car is paid off. Credit card is paid off. I have a small amount of tax to pay on a payment plan and have even put a teeny tiny amount into my savings account. I feel amazing when I save. I’ve even been to the dentist!

I work three jobs (sometimes more). I’ve been wanting to simplify for a while and it seems the Universe is providing. My new boss in my main earner is bringing in changes and dodgy contracts, the conditions were never fair anyway. I’m convinced I’m underpaid and that I could take the matter to fair work…however, it’s easier to just leave and not sign the contract. I’m over running someone else’s business for free. I’m over unpaid hours of work. I need to replace the income and am jobhunting and brainstorming what it is that I want to do or focus on. I’m sure if I can make a decision, it will help me out.

I’m hoping that leaving a bad work environment will help me out in the long run. At least I’m exploring what options there are out there.

I can see that I’m more focused on me and my life now. It’s helping me to feel stronger and more empowered. My partner is exploring going to court. We are also making plans to have a baby. We’ll have to figure out the money as we go.

Change isn’t always easy but it’s dependable. It can be fun and just maybe there are new shores ahead.

Posted in Inner World, Life, Me Me Me!, My Dreams, My Family, My Partner, Winds of Change

Hurting

I imagine it’s obvious that things haven’t been going well for me. I well know that I dislike people asking how I am and that I feel that my answers are lies. That I keep to myself more and catch myself frowning.

The situation became (and still grows) worse with the stepchildren. For no apparent reason other than that their mother is a witch who doesn’t want them to have a relationship with their dad. The visits were ridiculously few and short last year and she’s stopped them altogether this year. Yeah, the parents went through mediative services for a long 10 months and with no result. The mother refused to participate and that’s that.

Instead she brainwashes the children that the dad is angry and a terrible parent. They make up examples or use arguments that amount to naught. All that it really shows is that they are filled with hate and that they don’t like different parenting styles. Except that she has the kids, that even though she’s breaking the law, she can get away with it and he has to take her to court in order to make changes. A totally suckful situation.

It’s messy, there’s no contact whatsoever, no phone calls, no known address and no fucking idea what to do now. Why do I care? Well, they were a big part of my life and we were close. I know that, no matter what they have been told since. Also, I’m concerned about them as this will no doubt mess them up. They have been turned into little hate machines and don’t know the truth. And these children (who are beautiful in spirit) now think I’m some sort of monster.

I’m having a hard time adjusting to this change. I thought that a parenting plan would be made and that the mediators would convince her to agree to the minimum requirements. Nope. She won’t go down legal channels as courts would laugh at her complaints. Instead she’s alienated the children from their dad. Bitch.

If she believes all her claims then she’s mentally sick. If she thinks turning the kids from their dad is good parenting, then she’s a fool. I have to get this out somewhere which is why I’m writing now without censoring much. Family and close friends know what is going on. After a year and a half of this drama and the preceding years where she was difficult and kept making changes that led to this mess…. well, I’ve changed. I am unlikely to wish harm upon a person. Until now. I want her to suffer. For karma to turn around and bite her where it hurts. I’d like to detach more and not be actively wishing for her to come to harm but I’m not there yet. I’ve never met someone I like less, who goes out of their way to be foul and be malicious to others. I don’t react well to it.

I had surgery at the end of last year to correct my fertility. It went really well… however, I used up all my savings. I’m living week to week again and every week seems to bring new bills. Leftover surgery bills out of nowhere, my car needs a service, the quarterly electricity bill just arrived, after 5 months I deserve to pay for a haircut…. I know that I’ll eventually be able to save a small amount each week… just not this week. Or for this month. It’s a bit depressing to be so reliant on working. Last week I started writing a story. I have an idea that I could spend my evenings writing… a novel?… so that I have a product to sell…. it’ll take time but if I enjoy it, it will be worth it. It’s an idea. I can’t afford to study at the moment.

Am I trying to get pregnant? Not yet. I want to be a mother, time is running out, I have no money and I’m feeling low and have ‘lost’ stepchildren. I’m organising some more therapy to help me deal with this funk but even that is pricey. Even with medicare rebates, I’ll have to pay. I’m counting every dollar at the moment.

Last year was one of the worst years of my life, this year has had a harder start. I did great in business in February but am finding it hard to get motivated only a few weeks later. I overdid it, burnt out by working 6-7 days a week. And I’m not sure where to put my focus now. We’re going camping over Easter. That will be a welcome getaway.

I feel like I’ve aged a dozen years. That I’m starting from scratch again but have loftier dreams. I want to buy a home. Create a family. Have holidays. Be happy.

I loved those kids. Still do. It hurts. It really really hurts.

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Posted in Blog, Health, Inner World, Life, love, Outer World, Personal Growth, Winds of Change

Clear

It has been a pretty rocky year. The one area of my life that has been turned inside-out has then affected work, home, health and relationship. But to tell you the truth, I’m hanging in there. The affected areas are strong enough and stable enough. It’s entirely possibly to feel out-of-control in one area and to live relatively normally. I did seek out professional counselling services and that’s been a wonderful support.

One thing that I have been doing as therapy, productivity and because it was entirely necessary, is declutter and clean. Our rented home is small and 3 yrs ago we combined two households of stuff. I’ve taken bags and bags of clothes, books, kitchenware and odds and sods to the op shop. I’ve sold things. I’ve thrown out junk that should never have been kept. I’ve had a kerbside clean-up. I’ve taken green waste to the tip. I’ve recycled what I could. I’ve bought and assembled furniture to make homes for things. I’ve organised, trialled different ways of storing things. I’ve rearranged furniture. I get a buzz every time I see a box or bag leave the home. In fact, I took another (reusable) garbage bag to the op shop today.

I have been wanting to start a few projects but for a long time have felt bogged down. I believe I’m creating a sanctuary. I’m creating room for experiences, room for happy children to come back home. Their room was first. Too-small clothes given away, furniture bought, toys and prized possessions organised. It was the best room in the house. It didn’t help the cause but I (and Mr Connection has also, less enthusiastically, been caught up in my whirlwind) moved on. Cupboard by cupboard, room by room, and as days, weeks months go by, it’s getting there. I feel like I can breathe now. My home is looking more and more cosy and liveable. And I feel that there is so much more room for better things or even just to enjoy some space.

I (now?) also have one less excuse for not starting projects. I’ve been reading a book about creating dreams and decluttering/cleaning was halfway down the list. However, I had so much stuff I couldn’t even focus on what I wanted. I know this will make a difference. It’s funny but I’ve felt this urge for a long time to purge belongings and never found the time. Now that I have this unexpected extra time, I am on a roll. It keeps me occupied and positive. I’ve somehow found the time to read several novels, join and use the gym, cook more and do all my usual activities. I’m also getting better at staying up-to-date with my accounts, tax etc. Perhaps I’m finally growing up?

Well, time to go.

P.S. I imagine that emotional baggage will naturally be the next thing to clear. What a journey that will be… stay tuned for that report.

Posted in Inner World, Life, Me Me Me!, Outer World, Winds of Change

A Duck Tale

A young male duck seemed to have a charmed life. He had grown up active and strong, had done well learning to hunt and make quacking noises in duck school and was popular with young and old ducks alike. He was proud of his feathers, kept them clean and was rather pleased when a young female duck agreed to be his wife.

The party was excellent with lots of salad and an insect cake and it wasn’t long before the ducks had three ducklings – two girls and a boy. The girls were very fast swimmers and quick to catch their own food but the boy duckling never grew strong and had to have help hatching out of his egg. He needed to be fed and helped to swim for his whole life. His parents and all the other ducks loved him anyway and helped him live as long as possible. One day the boy duckling sank to the bottom of the swamp and his parents and all the ducks mourned his passing.

Raising a disabled duck had been hard on the two parents and they had split up, with the two ducklings spending most of the time with mother duck and a smaller amount of time with father duck.

Father duck met a slightly younger duck with even prettier feathers at a crustacean appreciation class and after a fine display of bobbing and wing-flapping, they found a nice patch of swamp to live in together. Meanwhile, the mother duck married an older duck with a couple of teenage ducklings of his own.

All the ducks got along fairly well with ducklings spending time with the different couples. But suddenly the mother duck decided to move to a further part of the swamp that was rumoured to have an abundance of molluscs. This meant that father duck saw his ducklings less. He was sad but hoped that his ducklings would have adventures and give him dehydrated molluscs for his hatchday. He was happy with his pretty duck. They adopted two tadpole pets and looked forward to family time.

The mother duck soon after decided that she didn’t like her new husband. He was too old and fat and slow and she didn’t even like molluscs much. She left him and his bratty teenage ducklings and moved to a different part of the swamp with her best friend. Her best friend pretended to be the father and it was fun for everyone for a while. However, the real father duck was seeing his ducklings less and less. He was also noticing that his ducklings were starting to behave a bit differently, less respectful towards him.

The father duck decided to talk with the mother duck about seeing his ducklings more. Instead of talking, the mother duck quacked hysterically for hours that the ducklings didn’t like the healthy salad, crustaceans and insects that the father duck gave them and preferred takeaway wrappers and bread thrown from humans and that therefore the father duck was a bad father. She also quacked ridiculously that he was too stern and that the ducklings were afraid to be in his home. The mother duck tried to give other reasons but they were all pathetic. However, she believed them and said the father duck wasn’t to see his ducklings any more.

The father duck tried to work it out with the mother duck but she wouldn’t listen. She organised for the father duck to see his ducklings once a month for a few hours only as long as there were takeaway wrappers because she believed that made the ducklings safe.

The father duck started talking to the duck family council in order to arrange to see his ducklings again. All the duck elders agreed that there were no reasons for him not to see his ducklings and that he was in fact an outstanding duck and father. However, councils take time and father duck’s case is ongoing.

Father duck is very sad. It has been very hard on him and his pretty duck. They miss his ducklings and it is hard on the relationship. For a while they lost their appetites and stopped preening their feathers but now they go to duck night classes on preening or dugustation to keep their romance alive (and to give them something else to talk about). One tadpole disappeared and so they look after only one these days.

The ducklings are rather confused but are with mother duck and listen to her nonsense and tend to believe it. When father duck gets a duck order permitting his returned visits, he will be able to talk to them about it and help the ducklings understand what really makes them safe.

So please, if you have ducklings, give them a cuddle for me. Help them be clever, strong and happy. Feed them healthy foods and keep them from foxes and quolls. Teach your ducklings about real safety. And above all, love them.

Posted in My Family, My Partner

Autumnal

For much of 2013 I felt very anxious and stressed. Unprepared I was for the demands of working two and a half self-employed ventures, the joint running of a household, being a step-mother, caring for two elderly dogs, time for relationship, hobbies, friends and time for myself. I told myself over and over that I wasn’t coping, that I couldn’t cope. And then the house would be clean for a few hours or a good laugh with friends and I’d feel okay.

In 2014 I cut back on work and took steps to manage my anxiety. I had acupuncture and reduced my workload, deciding that time was more important than income. Not ideal but I started to reduce my tension, had a few medical tests and felt that I was actually managing. I explored yoga, ukulele club, dance classes and had regular massages. All restorative. In October I took up meditation and turned it into an almost daily practice. Meditation really takes the edge off.

Since July last year a drama has been building. A few small exploratory pops were first seen in that July. Tensions in August. An unexpected eruption and explosion in September. Some fires that stayed alight since. A series of constant explosions throughout January. Catastrophe throughout February.

I am indirectly involved with this drama but it affects me mightily. I experience powerlessness. Breathlessness. Shivering. Palpitations. Loss of appetite. Anger. Hurt. Doubt and confusion. Sadness. Worry. When a new problem comes to the surface, work is a struggle. I have trouble sleeping. I have occasional nightmares about the situation. My menstrual cycle has become irregular. I am seeking professional counselling type services. I wonder if my boundaries are in the right place. My partner, family and friends are all incredibly supportive. And incredibly outraged at the injustice of the situation. I can’t write about the matter because of legalities and because my blog, though anonymous, has far too much information about me.

I try not to make too many changes in work at the moment. I just keep on keeping on. A good night’s sleep always comes and then I can smile for a moment. I pray and pray for the best possible outcome for all concerned. I meditate every day or two and experience moments of peace. All of the actions and practical steps to resolve this drama are being done. I just need to summon up some patience.

I have taken on one project. I’m getting rid of all the junk in our house. Clearing out the garage, decluttering and organising the inside. It’s a big job with many hours here and there still remaining. I feel excited every time a box of stuff or bag of clothes disappears. I’ve bought new cheap self-assembling practical furniture and I am intent to have a clean, tidy, organised home. Clutter be gone!

As the home opens up, I imagine room for new exciting experiences. For love, peace and ease to flow into my home, into my life. For drama to flow out. Like waves, like breath.

Posted in Inner World, Life, Me Me Me!, My Family

Blending

There are challenges having a boyfriend with kids.

  • What is my role? I’m not their parent, not their friend. I’m the one that kisses their dad, but am not their parent, but tells them what to do if their dad is not there, if we’re in a hurry or if they’re getting on my goat.
  • No one appreciates my authoritative participation. The kids resent having me involved, the dad wants to do it on his own, other family members feel like I’m not entitled to have a say.
  • No one appreciates my behind-the-scenes participation. Washing the kids’ clothes, putting away their toys and clothes, making sure their sheets and towels are laundered regularly, cleaning the house before their arrival, those small things like checking they have toothpaste and hair bands… virtually unnoticed.
  • No one wants to hear my opinions and ideas about behaviours, activities, bedtimes, and other things. It’s soooooooo frustrating to be ignored or not allowed to input at all.
  • I don’t get consulted much, I’m more likely to get told what the plans are for the weekend. As a result, it’s hard to make plans unless they’re only for me. And arranging holidays is a nightmare.
  • If I was to exit their life, no one would grieve for me. They’d be a little sad for a little while but ultimately, the kids wouldn’t care too much.

There are positives to having a boyfriend with kids.

  • I receive cards, drawings, cuddles, help, chats and more just because I’m there.
  • I get to see them grow, attempt, achieve and develop into young ladies.
  • Children are incredibly entertaining. Whenever they’re around, the house is full of giggles and happiness.
  • Having kids around encourages me to be more adult, to face challenges, to learn from all situations and be a role model for them.
  • However, it’s an excuse to be silly and have lots of fun. I tend to join in at playgrounds, riding bikes and scooters, walks and any physical play as I enjoy being a kid at heart.
  • More people to love.

I just found this article about being a stepmom that’s real, helpful and insightful. Seems it’s a challenge for lots of people.

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Posted in Dating, Inner World, Life, Me Me Me!, My Family, My Partner, Personal Growth

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