Friday, July 18, 2014

Power of Positive Definitions

Life has been unusual and changed a lot since April. April seems like a different life! Mainly my work life has changed. At times between April and July I have thought about dropping my emotions, thoughts and ideas here but I have held back.  No real reason... it was just intense and I could not take on even more intensity by writing about it. It was like a wound, an open sore, painful and itchy and uncomfortable and not really something I wanted to poke at again and again. I decided at some point there that I was in a lot of pain emotionally and decided to meet with a therapist whom I am still seeing. It is hard because I am unsure if it is the right thing for me to do but I want to keep doing it, to see it through for me. I started out seeing this therapist about my relationship with my mom and family but it has turned to me more and more. I think it is scary to expose myself in ways I am not sure I want to but I feel like at forty I am on the precipice of change. I need to talk to someone who can take apart what I am feeling and help me to reconstruct it. I also needed an escape from the depression that seems to invade my life nearly constantly.

To that end, I was given the chance to change my role at work. I went from being an recruiter/consultant to being on our business development team part time 25 hours a week with an solid hourly wage and the hours are defined by me.  It is definitely not where I see myself five years from now but I do not have the same drive and motivation to be a recruiter any more so I feel this is a fair transition for me. I have significantly reduced my stress levels in terms of work and to some degree the money side of things should increase my stress levels but I am trying with all of my heart to quiet the noise in my head about this. It also helps that we paid off our mortgage the same week I decided to go part time - it was our only major debt/loan so we freed up a huge chunk of our money. I have found myself thinking about what is most important to me in terms of work.  I want a great team environment, I want fun, positive team players, I want a comfortable steady income (ie: NOT on a draw), and I want excellent health benefits.  When the right thing comes my way I will know it. Until then I am just trying to enjoy the choice I made which I do honestly feel is a good one.

One thing I have been working on in my life is the power of positive thoughts. My entire life has been a series of buts and what if's and if I only's.  I am frankly ready to change my life and make it more inwardly and outwardly positive. I have had more time to step back and listen to my kids.  This made me realize that my constant negative undertone was pervasive. I have been teaching the kids my positive thought BUT material.  I do not have one defining story - it just the attitude and yes they say but a lot.  I am working on cutting myself off at the but stage.  Stay happy with what I have.  The positive is just the positive.  I do not need to say 'I am sorry but'. I have been working on this exercise for a couple of weeks and it is really hard. I have lived an entire lifetime one way and now I am trying to do it another way.  It is interesting as I listen more closely to my internal self how that one positive but five negatives thing shoves me headlong into a depressive state too. I think at this point my main goal is to tap into the positive me that exists under the layers of negative. I have for several years found that I did this with work. I love my job or I love where I work BUUUUT... In fact, work became my biggest priority the past few years and there was inverse relation going on there.

I was working harder, worrying about work all of the time, trying to make work work for me, making myself sick and tired and stressed out about work and I was doing worse and worse at work.  Now there is more at work (heh, pun) than just not being successful at work but the lack of success at work is the part I find worth mentioning. The more I failed, the more I felt like a failure. The ultimate failure was giving it up for something "less". K told me that if I took this lesser position I was not allowed to say I failed but that is how I have felt. Like a giant red rubber stamp on my ten plus years at this job: FAILED.  It went along with all of the other FAILED rubber stamps I felt I had in my life: FAILED relationships, FAILED swimming, FAILED school.  Okay not really because I have a fantastic relationship with K and various other friends and family but I can only see the failures like my Mom or various odd friendships that in hindsight were... odd. I swam for 14 years USS to college - not everyone can say that but I was very good at it, I was average. I graduated from HS and college twice (BS, MPA) but I went to an eh school and I was an average student.  See how that but thing works in my life.  Rounding back to the sense of failure at work, I am working on learning that my work does not necessarily define me. I have so many other things that define me beyond any job or work that I do in this life.  So I am working hard to let that rubber stamp FAILED go. It is not true and I am survivor. I am stronger than I perceive myself to be.  Now I just need to believe in that!
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