Oct 15, 2012

Yeah. Too Quiet

I know I've been quiet for awhile. It's not a blogging slump. It's a life slump. I'm hanging over the edge of a the building of life with my fingertips barely clinging to the side. It's not so terrible just lonely. My best ally went and had brain surgery at a critical moment in my life so I couldn't process my crisis because, well, he had brain surgery. Which is partly the reason of my crisis at work. But only partly because I had to draw boundaries, anyway.

There is no theme to this post. I'll just be blathering, by the way.

New job has me stressed. I feel isolated and not supported. I've put in waaayy too many hours in my subconscious way to please people because that's what I do. It's why I became a counselor, I think. But I thought there would be some reciprocal action going on. But, no. Rather than seeing it as a gift, my colleagues saw it as a norm and scheduled me to teach classes all day long for the next month. I don't work all day. I get paid half salary for half days. My husband was having brain surgery in two days when I had a breakdown. I didn't cry and carry on. I simply stayed in bed and thought. Then I went and dug up worms with the chickens and thought. Then I wrote an email to my colleagues explaining that I would be honoring my part time hours since Scott will need me to care for him, my four children still need a mother, and I don't get paid enough.

First, stone silence.

The next day we had a surprise counselor meeting with an administrator. I knew immediately it was the chicken way out of discussing with me what they wanted. It was an intervention. Puzzled? Yeah. Me, too. Pissed me off. Yes, with a capital "P." Still, the administrator is pragmatic and an old friend, although friendship does not impact how she does her job. Nobody mentioned the email but it was clear that it was the catalyst. I was refusing to take on any more projects and responsibilities that I couldn't feasibly do during my contract time, plus a couple of hours a week. I'm willing to give that for the first year with my learning curve. I also recognize a power struggle between the two old hands. One has already learned how much he wants to do and does no more. The other is tired of picking up the slack and refuses to do any more than she already does. Creates an interesting dynamic.

When the administrator left, I turned to my colleagues and thanked them for the lovely intervention. I said it in my brightest voice. I was met with excuses like they knew I was stressed and I should have talked to them, and other stupid stuff. I tried to reiterate that email is my mode of communication (deal with it), and stressed or not, the boundary needed to be drawn.

It's new job work stuff. I know I'll work it out. I feel resentment and I'm trying to push through it. I like the people as people. I'm irritated with them as colleagues. I have absolutely no understanding of where they are coming from. The administrator that sat in and facilitated our "counselor meeting" didn't feel compelled to tell me I had to work more than my contract and was sympathetic to my husband's surgery. I return telephone calls and emails. I teach 7th grade career development lessons. I change schedules. I resolve problems. I will be doing SEOPs. My time at work is non-stop. I resent that one person has time to decorate her office. Another is shopping online.

My problem. I can learn to live with not being loved by colleagues. I just want an ally or two.

So I went out to dinner with my best friend. Good therapy.

Scott's getting better so I'm starting to be able to have a reasonable dialogue with him, although he doesn't quite have the attention span for a deep conversation, yet. That and we are constantly interrupted by little people.

Speaking of little people, my biggest little person, who is 5'8" and a senior in high school, has me doing a lot of fun stuff. She comes in late at night and talks to me. Then we laugh and laugh and I remind her that she is not going away to college. Ever. She brings me too much happiness. Then she asks me to take her and her friends to check out Utah State. People pleasing kicks in and I tell her I'll do it but I still won't let her move away from home. She can't exactly commute to Logan. It's just an excuse to spend more fun time with her.

Then she wanted senior pictures. I saw the prices. Whack! That's why I have to work, apparently. Still, I thought I'd give it a whirl. Here's what I came up with. Conflicted over which one to use for graduation announcements. I have a lot more but here are my favorites:
 She's a babe. I know. I told her I could figure out how to use Photoshop but haven't really seen any reason to do so. Obviously.

Okay, this one has a story. I was clicking away when she suddenly yelled, "Bunny!" I kept waiting for her to drop that silly face but she didn't. So took the picture. "No, seriously, Mom. There's a bunny behind you." So I turned around and took a picture of its backside. Nearly missed it. Having this picture of her saying "Bunny!" was totally worth it.

 I like this one. I think it should be included in her portfolio.

 Playing her trumpet.

Then, back to my chicken addiction. I spent two days building on to my chicken run and coop. Apparently, there really is something called a "pecking order." My chicken that lays green eggs was acting all crazy and skittish and weird. I thought about putting her on Prozac but then realized she was at the bottom of the pecking order. They peck her. So I changed their food to scratch grains and gave them more space to scratch and peck at the ground. It's better but the pecking order still exists.

 Just to clarify, I used power tools and nobody got hurt. Nail gun, circular saw, power drill and staple gun. I'm counting the staple gun as a power tool even though I didn't have to plug it in or hook it up to the air compressor. I feel so manly, I nearly stopped wearing a bra. But then my waist increased. I put it back on.

If you are squeamish, don't look at the next picture.

I'll give you lead time to close the window. 

It's a picture of Scott two days after his surgery. 37 staples in his head. 

Actually, I'll preface it with a TODAY shot.
He goes out in public looking hot like this:
I disturbed his Sunday nap so I could take this picture. Because I'm totally rude like that. How could I not? It's blog fodder.

Now the gross one. You can choose to not look if you want.


And that is the catching up on whassup in my household and mind. Next time I'll include a picture of my newest past time; digging up worms with the chickens!

Or not.

Because I don't do that. That would be totally crazy.


mCat said...

Oh good laws my friend, you have so much on your plate right now!

Wish I had answers about work. I don't. I just quit.

Scott is looking good. Recovery takes time, but sounds like he's in the right direction.

Your daughter is stunningly gorgeous. If only my son wouldn't be called a cradle robber.

and who knew the pecking order actually existed? Wait - I think I did. Having been both the pecked on and the pecker.

Listing diet coke glass and toasting to better weeks to come!

Tonia said...

Dear Nancy,

I am writing formally to you because somehow that makes it all official and nice and this is a formal invitation. Please, if there is ever a time when you need an ear feel free to email a long drawn out extra whiney letter. Since we are blogger buddies I can't judge (although I think most people wouldn't anyhow). Really, if it would ever help then put in all the stuff you can't even say on your blog.
p.s. I'm so glad you have your daughter. Mine needs to stop getting taller. I've grounded her several times for it.
pps. It will get better. I promise.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nczw6xHJ0I (this one helped me once - if it doesn't come up you can youtube 'Elder Holland, don't give up'. I love the ending.)

.:Anna:. said...

Tristan dumped a full bowl of cereal on the floor. Milk everywhere. Dog refused to help clean it.

.... I woudl still say your problems trump mine, and I can only say "God Bless."

Tell your co-workers to stop being lame and self absorbed. :) Try to be more tactful than me when you say that though!

Amy Morrow said...

I'm so sorry for all you're going through. You are a strong woman and I know you will make it out the other side.

Take time when you need it to visit with your chickens or whatever else brings you peace, and trust in His Love.

Praying for you!