A Dark Time. Is Light Coming?

This week, all I’ve heard is that it’s the darkest time for the country where I live, at least since 9/11. I’m not doubting that. It’s probably not been a great idea, but I’ve been reading a lot about how to help people who’ve been deceived by repeated lies, help cult members move on, etc. The best article I read is this one, “Can members of the Trump cult be deprogrammed after the leader falls?,” from Steve Hassan in 2019, and I wanted to share it, in case it’s helpful for any readers.

Perhaps the beauty of this guinea fowl feather will help us keep breathing.

I have been doing a fairly good job of keeping good spirits until last week, when I saw how many people whom I’ve been extending the benefit of the doubt, supporting their right to their beliefs, etc., are willing to try to bring down the government and the precious Constitution they kept braying about for so many years. Beating police officers, whose lives I thought mattered to them, with American flags, which I thought they held sacred, etc., all brought out my worst fears.

Knowing me, and I sorta do, it’s clear that I can handle one or two crises at a time pretty well. By the time yesterday came along, the crisis count went over my limit. There are a couple of things that I can’t talk about but weigh heavy on my mind. Plus way too many horrible illnesses in my extended circle. Then stuff happened at my job over the past week or so went over my limit for calmly dealing with the barrage of change that comes with an Agile organization owned by a new set of venture capitalists.

Feathers and some nice grounding quartz. Ahh.

By the time my final meeting ended last night, at 7 pm, I’d had it. The darkness enveloped me, literally and figuratively, as I made my way back to the ranch, and I just couldn’t take another thing. I want to help people, I want to talk to folks who need to talk to me, and I want to get things done that I’ve committed to do. But wow, I’m only human.

You know what, all of you are only human, too. It is important to know when you’ve hit a limit and do something about it.

My Zoom background decorations. Perhaps over the top.

I am not someone who feels better by just ignoring current events, but I CAN find good things to balance them. That’s my hope for all of you, too, that you keep listening to the advice I repeatedly give to turn to nature and find its timeless beauty. Breathe. Take a walk. Surround yourself with what makes you happy (like all my silly Valentine’s Day decorations in the office). Talk to a friend. Maybe talk to a friend who is NOT overwhelmed like me!

My view from the desk tries to tell me love wins.

I will now sign off and follow my own advice. Love to all, and I mean ALL.

You Know You’re Feeling Overwhelmed When…

I admit it. I am overwhelmed. I hit my wall and it hurt. Actually, what hurts appears to be a sinus infection on the left side of my head. I hope I can nip it in the bud without antibiotics, since I am not fond of those.

Word of the day.

But yeah, yesterday, as things kept coming in for work, as I kept being confused about the new way to do things and messing it up, as my team asked for support while my management repeated that what they want isn’t important, I also had to run a meeting, prepare the agenda, and be secretary for the monthly Master Naturalist group. And I had to start putting together another newsletter for Friends of La Leche League, even though we are losing members due to our broken e-commerce system. Plus, the deal with my older son decided to poke its head up and cause me to plunge into despair again (son quit talking to me and won’t say why, and even got married without telling me; I usually cope okay, just right now I’m not). And don’t forget I’m trying to help out with the family business when asked.

I am low on batteries, too.

I just took yesterday afternoon off and slept. That enabled me to get my evening stuff done. But that’s not a daily choice! It’s too bad that telling myself to take things one day (or hour) at a time, stop trying to do everything right when I’m confused, remember I’m just fine the way I am just isn’t working at the moment. That calls for me reminding myself that life isn’t an uphill climb; sometimes you fall down into a valley and start again.

I’m good with that.

What doesn’t help is lying in bed trying to figure out how to quit everything and just hang out with the dogs, chickens, and equines at the ranch. That, in itself, is a huge and overwhelming undertaking, as my mind firmly reminded me. I was just wallowing in self pity last night.

Then, when I woke up this morning, I realized I have the major PTSD over the events on this date years ago, when I was lost at O’Hare and trapped in Schaumburg, Illinois without my children (and the totally un-supportive husband who only wanted to get rid of me). Well, no wonder I’m not at the top of my game. I just need to accept this.

Good time to publish a post.

I think I’ll just do what I can at work, and psyche myself up for the one hard meeting, then go home and hug the ranch. This is only temporary, and life will, as always, have its ups and downs. Onward, and I hope, upward!

Whoops, I Hit a Limit

If I can’t get balanced, I’ll drop all my stuff.
(Robin Wood tarot, 2 of Pentacles)

For the past few weeks I knew I had been filling my time with too many things that take away energy and not enough things that build it back up. I know perfectly well what those things are, and usually I am able to keep a good balance, even with all my jobs, volunteer positions, and social/family stuff.

But, hey, as we all know too well, life happens. So, even though I have my nature walks, dogs, horses, chickens, and good friends to build up my reserves, some of these new things that have popped up have tilted the balance. I’m just worn out.

What’s Draining My Energy?

Well, some of the things are small and some are large. Some are at least superficially good, and some are plain irritating.

That’s my energy, serenity, motivation, and essence, just going down the drain.
  • I got a new job responsibility in Austin that seemed like it wouldn’t be too much, but has put at least half a day per week of meetings on my schedule. Meetings drain me (the new people I work with are great, though, and I actually want to contribute by doing this work).
  • Some new management strains have surfaced, too. Yet another initiative for “creating a mentoring culture” and “celebrating wins” has arrived. These things are all well meaning and “just” take a few minutes. For each direct report and your own self. And then you need to schedule some one-on-ones, which will add another few hours of meetings (with people I like, for sure, but still…I want to do actual work). And corporate initiatives drain me.
  • I try to schedule just two nonprofit meetings a week, but with the Master Naturalist class going on every week, there ends up being more many weeks. I thought I had it all straight this week, with one MN meeting and one day of volunteering for MTOL and all the animals at the thrift shop, but, suddenly a house closing, in Austin, popped up. ACK. I wanted to do it, but that would mean going to Cameron for a Thursday night meeting, then to Austin for a Friday afternoon closing, then back to Cameron for the thrift store in the morning. I want to do all the things…but wow. Too much driving drains me.
  • Many of my friends and family members, near and far, haven’t been well. I want to be there for them, too. I can’t let that go to the wayside. Sending out good energy drains me.
  • And I want to help Anita get her Cameron house ready for a tenant who’s going to help her fix it up. Watching her work so hard with no help drains me by proxy.

Consequences

So, I find myself having a hard time getting through days. I was just sure yesterday was Thursday. It was Tuesday.

Yesterday afternoon, after work meetings for both jobs, I was all nauseated and had one of those squeezing headaches, but powered through a 2-hour meeting. Today I had allergy symptoms and my throat has that weird feeling like it’s sore, but not like I have a cold or flu. I get it when I am physically run down. DING. I can’t even keep my eyes open.

Things, even pretty things, can overwhelm if there are too many of them. Photo by @lostintimeline via Twenty20

Hey, that may mean I need to STOP WRITING and go rest. Gee. Quit yelling. My head hurts. I need to be kind to myself and remember that if I don’t get my balance back, I can’t be much use to anyone.

Gonna make a few schedule changes and re-balance. Lee already changed the closing to doing it from Cameron. Now to meditate. Om.