This year is about to come to an end and the last twelve months have been incredible. So many cool things have happened and so many blessings have come my way. I quit a job that was making me miserable and found one that I love. I have been able to not worry so much about money thanks to that job and my ability to drive my nice, new-ish car for Uber on the weekends. I have some amazing new friends thanks to my new job. I have also been able to go on some pretty cool adventures with my kids because of it. We have been to San Diego twice, Portland twice, Seattle and we have driven to Salt Lake City a couple of times. We have plans for many more adventures and my kids are my favorite travel buddies. I have found that not only do I love my kids, but I truly like the people they are.
So with all this great stuff happening in my life, I am struggling at the moment. This time of year has been a bit difficult for me my whole adult life, but it seems especially so right now and I think it is due to a number of factors and that another year is ending and so many of my plans did not see fruition. And so the reasons for my struggle:
- I have been working too much and I am so tired. I love both of my jobs for the same reason–people. I love helping people, even cranky ones. I have had some amazing and life changing conversations due to these jobs. I have been able to help people dealing with some tough stuff breathe a little easier. The problem is, I work a full time day job and anywhere between 12 and 20 hours per week driving. I also have an online store that, for the most part, I ignore but occasionally get orders that require time to complete. I want so much to have and do things that I often over-schedule myself to the point of exhaustion
- People sometimes suck. The past few weeks have been especially difficult for me with regard to people. I love my job and people being pissed off doesn’t generally bother me. Maybe it is the holiday travel and holiday stress, but I have found my limit of bullshit, laziness and entitlement acceptance or tolerance. This goes beyond just work related stuff. Being in customer service means dealing with a lot of crap from people who feel like they should always have what they want, how they want it, when they want it or they threaten to take their business elsewhere. They think rudeness and assholery will get them them what they want faster. I have been in customer service in a number of businesses–banking, retail, food service and airline reservations. I see it all the time as a customer too. I have dealt with a lot of entitlement silliness. What normally does not phase me is eating me up.
- I don’t get nearly enough sleep and it is wearing on me. Part of it is stress I am sure and part of it is just environment, but I am feeling lately that my thyroid might be the primary culprit is this. Weight gain and gluten accidents are not helping. Staying up til 3 and 4 in the morning driving for Uber is not helping either. I have messed up my sleep cycle big time. Going to the gym and being more active would probably help but that is another point of failure.
- My birthday. I just turned 49 a couple days ago. I have no idea how time flew by so quickly, but it has and that scares me. I worry that I have missed out on so much. I am now trying to make up for it and I feel like time is running out.
- I don’t take care of my self. This is my biggest point of personal failure that seems to plague me each new year. I always have the best of intentions, but trying to make time for myself and my health always falls by the wayside. My very sedentary jobs have made me gain 30 pounds. My thyroid is feeling sluggish. Lack of sleep leaves me exhausted. Not making the gym my priority creates a lot of guilt. I need to make changes, and I try but then I go back to old habits and let the fatigues rule the day.
- Ended and changed friendships. People I thought were for real turned out not to be. I think there are lot of people that are really good at faking and really good at bullshit. Both for themselves and others. This one really weighs on me. People I thought I could count on and trust have proven otherwise and their self-absorbtion, narcissism, selfishness, etc have caused me to end things or distance myself. The sad thing is, I saw these things early on multiple times but dismissed them as I always do until the cloud of optimism (or foolishness) covered their multitude of sins. I hate giving up on people. I want to give people every chance to be who I feel like they are or can be. I feel guilty when I give up or walk away.
- I feel like a failure. This in several ways, the most important the aspect being motherhood. I don’t spend enough time with my kids. I don’t do enough with my kids. I don’t have enough money to give my kids the things they want. I work hours that keep me from checking on them doing homework, my 13 year old cooks dinner most nights and I feel like they are growing up so fast and I am missing it.
- I am still single. Constant reminders abound that I am not partnered with anyone. I see everyone else around me dating and in relationships and I am alone. I always feel like it is because I am overweight and I am weird and I am not feminine enough. Men don’t look at me as having relationship potential or I am not “eye candy” enough for them. The reminders that I am not good enough are everywhere and constant. Another point of “failure”.
All of these things have been dragging me down, but if I really look at things, I do put so much pressure on myself to be and do and have everything–perfectly. Yes I do fail and struggle at things, but with a mountain of things I want to accomplish staring at me, it is easy to get overwhelmed, anxious and depressed.
So, if I break things down a bit, I can see that there is a lot to be encouraged by, proud of and happy about. For example, I got a job I love with amazing benefits. I can’t afford everything I want for my kids and we sometimes struggle and I don’t have near enough time with them, but every time we travel, it is great bonding time and we all contribute and plan. My boys try to find ways to save money and they research places that serve gluten free food and they find fun things to see on a budget. They are getting my undivided attention and day of my time that is completely theirs. I couldn’t do that before this job. I couldn’t see the potential for adventure with my kids in the simplest of trips and events. My job opened my eyes.
I may be single, but I am strong and can do things for myself and I am not afraid of going places and doing things on my own. When I am “with” someone, it won’t be because I am incapable of handling life on my own, it will be because they add something no one else does. I love going places with friends, but I am equally comfortable to go by myself. And speaking of friends, I have made a few good ones this year that I would not know now if it weren’t for the choices I have made, even the less than wise or comfortable ones.
My birthday wasn’t so scary and I am actually looking forward to 50. I had plans to go out and have adult beverages, but everyone is broke after Christmas so I postponed my night out. I ended up driving for Uber but lack of rides had me ending my drive time early and going to see a movie. Alone. And that was okay with me.
My biggest thing going into 2019 is going to be focus on my health. My eating habits have to improve. That is a given. I need to establish a routine at the gym. Sleep and rest have to be a priority as well. There are ton of things I want to do, but I am thinking that if I can keep my focus on my health, everything will begin to fall into place and I will be happier, healthier and more alert and less fatigued.
So life is not as much of a struggle as I make it sometimes. I am really good at making things more difficult by amassing an unrealistic list of things to accomplish and beating myself when said list isn’t finished. I am not going to focus on those things. I am going to let up on expectation and just enjoy life more this coming year. There is a lot of fun in my future. If I can just keep that damn cloud of expectation in my rear view mirror by outpacing it with all the fun I am going to have.