All great changes are preceded by chaos

Everyone knows that saying “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” (My personal favorite incarnation is “When life gives you lemons, find someone who was given vodka and have a party,” but you know, 6 of one, half a dozen of the other, right?)

Anyhoo, sometimes life gives you lemons. And sometimes life throws them at you as if to say, “See what you can do with these!”

Life threw some lemons at me a earlier this month when I was let go from my job. I do not completely understand all their decision making, and why they decided to lay off who they did and keep others, but the reasons behind it aren’t so important here. Suffice to say, no matter what happened, I am currently unemployed.

I was bitter about it for a couple days, but now I see it as a blessing in disguise. I hated that job. It made me a miserable person. It physically made me ill most days to be in the office, like it was toxic (and it probably actually was, if you could only see the conditions of the buildings). I feel like me again.

I’d been praying on this for some time now, looking for direction in what to do. I think God knew I was never going to quit, so He literally forced me out of the situation I was in, giving me a lot of free time to find something better. Not to mention some time to be a quasi SAHM to my sweet girl.

It’s also giving me time to focus on the one thing I have always loved to do, the one thing I really do want to make a career out of: Writing. I’m officially a freelance writer, getting paid to write articles about anything and everything. I have to say, it was one of the proudest moments of my life when I sold my first article. It made me realize I can do this.

I’m also focusing on my creative writing as well. I’ve written a couple short stories, and have some more in the works. It feels so good to just write again. All of the negative energy from my old job just completely stifled any creative flow I might have had. Being away from that atmosphere unclogged a pipe in me that had been completely blocked off.

Being unemployed does have it’s perks. Getting to change from PJs to yoga leggings for one, and not ever having to wear make up for another. Also, I can finally go grocery shopping at times when no one else is there. Not having to navigate your cart around other carts at Target might be a form of heaven on earth. Double points if I get to go alone

I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. God would not put something on my plate if He didn’t know I could handle it. I feel like this is where I’m supposed to be right now. I am confident that the right job will come along, something that works for my family and our circumstances. For right now, I’m enjoying the time with A and all the writing I get to do. I have to say, it’s a refreshing change of pace.

Where I’ve been

So, it’s been a few weeks (three, to be exact) since I’ve blogged. It’s not because I’ve forgotten, or haven’t had things to write about, because every day when I get home from work, I think to myself, “I should blog…I need to write…I have to write…” And I often find myself thinking, “This will make a great post…I can’t wait to write about this.”

And then, for the past three weeks, I haven’t.

I don’t really have an excuse other than pure exhaustion and what I believe has been a bad case of the winter blahs. I just haven’t had the energy to summon up a coherent thought. If I’m being entirely honest, a lot of this has to do with my job right now. To be frank, my work situation isn’t great. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve cried at work the last few weeks. I’m not an expert, but I’m pretty sure that’s a sign something is not right.

It’s carrying over a lot of stress and anxiety into my personal life. I’ve always been prone to stress and anxiety, so this level of stress on top of daily life stress, is really affecting everything rather negatively. It’s hurting me, my family, and my ability to be a productive member of society. I’m starting to think maybe I should talk to someone about it.

I have always been independent, almost to a fault. I don’t like asking for help. I don’t like feeling like I can’t do it by myself. I don’t like not being able to fix the problem by myself. It’s hard to admit when you can no longer do something on your own. It’s hard to admit something is not working, especially when you so desperately wanted it to work, and thus feel like a failure. It’s hard to open your heart and soul to friends, family, and strangers on the Internet. It’s hard to change. But the hardest thing, I think, would be to continue to live in unhappiness because I was too proud to ask for help.

Life is balancing act, and unfortunately I’ve never been very coordinated. Bear with me while I learn to balance better.

If I had a million dollars…

…I would do a lot of things, but first I think I’d hire someone to finish unpacking all these boxes for me. I’ve been staring at them for days now. Part of the problem is after work, I just don’t feel like unpacking, or unpacking is just logistically difficult. Obviously, after work I am getting dinner prepared or A ready for bed, and after that I am just tired and want to play Candy Crush until I inevitably lose all my lives. Both weekends we’ve been here so far, John has been out of town, so I can only unpack when A is sleeping. She is a TERRIBLY light sleeper, and I’ve woken her up a couple times trying to put things away .

Also, I really don’t know where to put a lot of things. I’ve never had an “adult” house to decorate, and I’m unsure where to start. Along side my professional un-packer, I’d hire a professional decorator. I have never had an eye for design, which is pretty obvious if you’ve ever been inside any of the places I’ve lived. Part of the problem is I’m cheap. I would like to be all Pottery Barn, but then I see the price tag and I’m like “LOL no.” I know you can decorate, tastefully, for significantly less, but that whole not-having-the-time thing really gets in the way.

pottery-barn

What my house will never look like (Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn)

 

This is a problem because I need a lot more things to get this place looking good (right now it’s just functional). We got a nice couch and chair for the living room, but we need a media console and coffee table. I’d also like to get a low bookcase with room for storing some of A’s toys/books, and maybe a couple storage ottomans to keep DVDs and video games out of sight (and for additional seating). I’ve been checking Craigslist and a local thrift store but have yet to see anything that I like.

For the first time, I have a room I can actually dedicate to an office, which is awesome, because I’ll have a place I can call Hot Shot Mama HQ (instead of just, you know, my couch, where I am currently writing this from), and my new job is going to require some working from home. I just don’t know what to do with it. I’ve been spending a lot of time on Pinterest trying to find ideas. I like the idea of a Parsons style desk and a funky chair, but other than that I’ve got nothing.

alloffices

(That last one is my dream office, if I had unlimited space/funds. I would love a desk for writing and a desk for other tasks. But I have neither so I’m going to try to marry things from the first three. I really like the oversized pin board in the first image, all the storage in the second, and the floating shelves in the third. Since I can’t have the epic desk from my dream office I will settle for the cool chair.)

Seeing as I am unlikely to fall into piles of money anytime soon, I really need to get over the not-being-good at decorating thing and just figure it out, because this house? Not going to decorate itself.

How low can you go

It’s funny how sometimes all it takes is one little thing for you to totally lose it.

Last week was a really bad week. I was sick for most of it, my manager went out of town leaving me to run the office for half of it, on top of which work was just insanely crazy, and I knew this week wasn’t going to be much different. I got yelled at a lot by clients. As a result, I was pretty run down this past weekend.

I put A to bed last night, like always, and she went down relatively easily, like always. About 20 minutes after going down, I heard her start screaming. Terrified she had managed to hurt herself, I rushed into her room to find her sitting up in her crib, something she had previously been unable to do. I picked her up, and she immediately quieted down and went into playtime mode. She had napped heavily late that afternoon, so I figured she just wasn’t ready for bed yet. I let her play for a little while, then tried to put her back to bed.

It didn’t take long to figure out it was not going to happen. She screamed every time I put her down and immediately sat up. I was getting flustered. I couldn’t just leave her to cry like I usually did, because I was afraid she would catapult herself out of the crib. I needed to lower the mattress.

How difficult could it be?

Apparently, pretty freaking difficult. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what I needed to do. Under normal circumstances, it probably wouldn’t have been Such. A. Big. Thing. But exhausted, still feeling sick, and with a crying baby, I just lost it.

I mean, completely lost it. Like sobbing hysterically on the floor of my child’s room. A was crying, I was crying. We were both big fat messes. I gave up and decided A would just have to sleep with me. This meant I had to listen to her cry while I quickly took a shower and got ready for bed myself. By the time I had her settled down and falling asleep, my head was pounding from all the sobbing. Hers and mine.

It was the first time since John left that I let myself break down. It was the first time I really allowed myself to wallow in self pity about how hard it’s been since he moved. I know there are plenty of single moms out there who do what I am doing every day all day with no foreseeable end in sight, but I am tired of it. I’m ready to have my family together again. I’m ready to have my husband back again.

I’m ready for some freaking help with lowering the crib mattress, among other things.

For what it’s worth, I did figure it out this evening. After a little help from my good friend Google, I lowered the mattress by myself. And while it was empowering, knowing I can do this all by myself, I’d still rather do it with John.