Tag Archive: chaos


Filling The Void

I’m in a weird spot at the moment.  Weird for me anyway.

My mind is blank.

There’s nothing in it that is causing me to stress, worry or plan.

I’m at a loss for what to do with this emptiness.

There are no future plans for me to work on currently.

There are no external events happening for me to stress over.

Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Zero.

So…what do I do with my time?

Nothing productive – I can tell you that!

I should be studying.  I’m not.  I should be planning the next home improvement project.  They’re already planned.  I should be stressing over what to do with Monkey over the summer vacation.  She’s 16, she doesn’t want to spend it with us, so will end up going to her mom’s house for most of the time – her mom will have to take over the stress this time!

I joined and was accepted into the Mastermind Group.  We’re two weeks in to the 12 week course.  Next week is my week to share what I am struggling with and what I would like help with.

I can’t figure out a good answer to that right now.

I’m happy with my decision to not change jobs – however, my current job’s management is getting on my nerves.  I have a coworker that needs help, but refuses to allow me to help her (I’ve offered multiple times); causing chaos in the office when her work is less than stellar.

Hun is stressed and depressed – but I don’t know how to help him in a way that will allow me to help (we don’t have the money for what he wants – a new boat).

We should be filing for bankruptcy – Hun and I have decided to hold off on that for now – we want to explore another avenue that won’t be available until August.

So…what to do…what to do…

I seem to thrive on my schedule being just a tad bit hectic – almost not enough time to finish everything – but just barely.  Now that it’s not, I don’t know how to fill the void.

I now know my passion is to create – but how do I handle the lull between projects?

Calm Out Of Chaos

There are subtle noises at my work being made that are leaning towards change.  At barely a whisper, it’s hard to tell if the change is merely my imagination or might actually happen.  Usually, I can tell when something is “off” and right now, something is “off”.

One of my coworkers, while very nice and a great person; usually talks or makes some type of noise for the better part of the day.  Random song lyrics out of nowhere, blurting out what she’s thinking regardless of the subject (she once informed us she needed to go #2), and wild statements that you’re positive aren’t true (my mom believe’s you’re the devil).  My assumption is she talks to hear herself talk; but she’s also commented that she takes meds for ADHD, so that probably plays a large role in her personality.

Recently, she had an upcoming day off.  One of the other ladies asked her what her plans for the day were – her response was “I’m going to a job interview”.

No one said a word – positive or negative – we were all silent, like she hadn’t said a thing.  Just like we react to 95% of her statements.

I asked one of the other coworkers (when we were alone) what her thoughts were.  She responded with, “I don’t think she’s going to an interview.  I think she just said that because she wanted someone to say ‘no, don’t leave!  We’d be lost without you!’.”

But, for some reason, I think she was serious.

I don’t know.  I could be wrong – I’ve been wrong before.

This leads me to another, similar, event.

While I did change jobs about 6 months ago, I am still with the same company.  I’ve been with this company for over 22 years now.  Over those years, they’ve done different processes for employee evaluations.  Their current model is that everyone has their evaluation done during the same time-period.  So, even though I’ve only been in the position for 6 months, I just completed my yearly evaluation.

It was a decent evaluation, with my manager praising the changes I have helped with during my short time in the department.  She went so far as to say, “I wish there were 6 of you!”  She also commented that she wished I would go full-time (I’m only part-time at 28 hours a week currently).

I stayed silent on her comments.

In the past, I would have agreed immediately to whatever my manager wanted from me.  Bigger challenges?  I’m on it!  Want me to work myself crazy?  No problem!

But not now.  I reflected on her comments and reviewed the subtle shifts happening in the department.  I see patterns, and can intuit things before others see the same things.  I think we’re going to have a job opening in the department within the next 6 months.

And if my manager stays true to her statement, I’m not going to take the offered full-time job.

This is a huge change for me business wise.  In the past, I would have jumped right on it.  Already thinking about how I could change the position for the better (before I was in the position or even before being offered the position).

Now I know that if I took the position I would eventually be miserable.

Within a year, I would be stressed out and, eventually, willing to throw away my career just like I was before.

With the current job I have, and the personal growth I have experienced over the last several months, I know what I want out of life now.  I know what I want to be when I “grow up”.

I want to create.  Specifically, I love to create calm out of chaos.

That’s what I’m currently doing.

My core job duties are the same as what my coworkers’ job duties are – except I only do those duties about 35% of the time, while they do them around 85-95% of the time.  The other 65% of my time is dedicated to special projects.  The job didn’t start this way, but it has morphed as my manager saw my strengths and utilized them.

The projects I am given are a complete and utter disaster when they are handed to me.

I make sense of the project.  I create processes on how to do the project going forward.  I test out my process and revamp and revise as needed/necessary until it makes sense.

In six months of being in the office, I have tackled 6 major projects.  Most are completed; a couple of projects are still in process.  I’m given a new project every few weeks.  I have more projects “in queue” to be worked on than I currently have time for.

And I am ecstatic!

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Will I be willing to help out my manager in a pinch if my coworker does quit?  Yes.

Will I do it without a plan to return to what I’m currently doing?  No.

I finally feel like I’m a grown up.  Funny how things like this work.

Finding The Joy

It’s no surprise to anyone who knows even a little bit about me that I am currently struggling in life.  While I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m “clinically depressed”, I am in a depression that requires medication that keeps me functioning on a half-way sane level.

I took the week off last week and had a couple of appointments – one with my counselor and another with my doctor.  The doctor doubled the strength of my happy pills.  Not to worry – that was the only option she had with this particular medication.  The counselor listened to my woes and gave me one assignment for the week – find the joy in my life – because it was obvious to her that I had misplaced it somewhere along the way.

So – I’m on a journey to discovering what brings me joy.  Let me tell you, it’s harder than it sounds when you’ve lost your way!  Especially when I was specifically instructed to find MY joys, not what makes my husband and kids happy.

But I have made some discoveries that I would like to share:

I’m a hoarder of physical memories. 

Keeping items close to me that reminds me of a time that brought me joy in the past, brings me joy in the present.  The problem with this is that my house has things in it that I cannot bring myself to part with because of the wonderful memories I have of that item or event.  Case in point – I still had my wedding bouquet from my wedding to Hun.  It’s not preserved, it’s just fake flowers, but it sat on top of my armoire for almost 12 years collecting dust and cobwebs.  It was a mess to look at!

Clutter like this clutters up my house, my life and my mind.  So, I vowed to do something about it, let go of my hoarding tendencies and release the joy back into my present.  I took part of the bouquet and turned it into a Christmas ornament.  The rest of that sad bouquet is currently in the trash.  I now have a memory that will be safely packed away in my mind, heart and attic (after the Christmas decorations are put up obviously!), freeing up space in my home.  My mind is free to think about something else other than cleaning that darn bouquet AGAIN, and the happy memory will become even sweeter in my heart when I unpack it year after year and place it on our tree.

The discovery that I’m a hoarder piggy-backs on another discovery:  Organization brings me joy.

Do you know how hard it is to be organized when you tend to hoard things?  I only know one organized hoarder and I know exactly where I get these traits from.  Thanks Mom!!

So, my new mission to attempt to turn my memories into Christmas ornaments will help with another area that stresses me out:  Cleaning my house.  How much easier is cleaning going to be if I don’t have to move almost 40 years of memories around when I’m attempting to dust?  If I’m keeping something because it brings me joy, how can I still keep the joy without sacrificing an organized life?  If anyone has any suggestions on how to preserve the memory of stuffed animals, please let me know!

These discoveries brought about another that brings me joy:  Creativity

I love to create things.  It doesn’t matter what I’m creating, but my soul longs to create.  Crocheting?  Check.  Painting?  Check.  Gardening?  Check.  Construction?  Check.  Good Food?  Check.  Assembling Christmas ornaments out of everyday items?  Check and double check!

I made one last discovery last week:  Helping others brings me joy.

I love to help people.  I love helping them to create.  I love helping them to become organized.  I love to help them in whatever help they need from me at the moment.  Need help with a plumbing issue?  I’m there to help.  Need help with a craft project?  Let’s get started!  Need help setting up for a party?  I’ll be there an hour early, just point me in the right direction.

Sharing my joys with others brings me joy.  I’ve created several Christmas gifts this year to give away.   It brought me so much joy to assemble them and some of the gifts have already given the recipients joy in receiving them.

These aren’t the only things that bring me joy, but it’s a really good start wouldn’t you say?

My wedding bouquet rediscovered as a Christmas Ornament

My wedding bouquet reinvented as a Christmas Ornament

May You Live In Interesting Times

I’ve been cursed.

No….really….I have!

My counselor, Dr. B, has cursed me.  He informed me that I “live in interesting times”.  He tried to tell me that it was an old Chinese curse, but I Googled it and found out the truth here if anyone is interested in the history of this saying.

When he first told me the saying, I misunderstood him and thought he said it could either be a blessing or a curse, so I was trying to be positive and call it a blessing to those I told about it.  He informed me at our next appointment that I was wrong.  So much for being positive.

He also told me about how the Chinese symbol for “crisis” or “chaos” can also mean “opportunity”, that its meaning is something along the lines of “out of chaos comes opportunity”.  Or, at least, that’s how I heard it when he tried to tell me the story.  I went home from that appointment excited about the possibility that I had finally found something that I would actually consider tattooing on myself.

You see, I have no tattoos.  Not that it really matters, but a lot of my friends have at least one, usually multiples, and I often find myself wondering why it appeals to them.  They all have different reasons, but I’ve been pretty steadfast in the belief that nothing is going on my body permanently unless it holds great significance for me.  Something about how “out of chaos comes opportunity” really appealed to me and got me to the point of actually wanting to go through with it.

This is a HUGE deal for me.  Heck – I won’t even put stickers on my car because I can’t commit to the thought of them being there long term.  And let’s face it – if I put a sticker on my car – it’s going to be there until it peels off or I sell the car because who has time to always be changing stickers on their car?

So – I Googled the crisis/chaos equals opportunity symbols in Chinese to make sure I had the right symbols and found this link.  Yep, the story he told me about the characters is also false.

{sigh}  So much for my awesome tattoo idea.

I’m beginning to believe that my counselor isn’t really big on research.  It’s a good thing I like him.

Back to living in interesting times.  You see, I started this blog to have a record of my life as it seemed like I was always dealing with one crisis or another.  I figured I really needed to be journaling about it, because you never know when you’re going to need to remember details.  I’ve been involved with enough courts over the last 7 years to know that it can be important!

I think that most who read my blog can agree – my life is certainly interesting!

Okay – maybe it’s not really interesting to the vast majority of people out there, but it is certainly keeping me on my toes!

I still believe that leading an interesting life can either be a blessing or a curse – depending on how you look at the world around you at any given moment.  Take our local 4th of July celebration Hun, Buddy and I attended.  It was packed with a lot of people – I wouldn’t be surprised if there were 100,000 plus people there.

The celebration was awe-inspiring – I love fireworks!  There was even a short intermission in the show while the fire department put out the multiple fires that the shells had set off.  The fires were close enough to the remaining un-fired shells to have the show organizers concerned about safety.  We didn’t have anything as exciting as the chaos in California, but it was concerning enough for me to give Buddy a short talk about what to do if something DID happen, people panicked and where we would meet up if there was a stampede and we were separated.  I’m glad we had that little talk because when we got home from the show, that’s when we were already seeing images of the firework-show-gone-bad on the news.

***Little known fact – I attended a regional gathering of pyrotechnic geeks many years ago and I gained a huge appreciation for the power behind fireworks.  I’ll never forget the lead tech answering the question about will the show go on if it’s still raining (there was a heavy mist that day).  He said they would fire the shells off through the tarp, no problem, and went on to tell the story about how they tested 10” shells with various materials.  He stated that a 10” firework shell (standard size for the professional shows) would burn through a plywood sheet that was ½” thick and still rise high enough to explode at its proper altitude without slowing down.  That’s some serious fire power there.***

So – even in common events, it seems like I cannot lead a boring life.  Since my counselor is wrong, I’m still trying to take the angle of it being a blessing though.

After all – if it wasn’t a blessing to lead an interesting life, I wouldn’t have posted the following on my Facebook wall:

“Never in a million years would I have ever thought I’d be giving thanks for a flash light app in a port-a-potty!”

Stand Falling Still

A few weekends ago, I spent a weekend away with my Divas.  The Divas are my group of girl-friends who have self-proclaimed ourselves to be…well…Divas.  Some of us started out as family, some as friends, some as neighbors, and some as co-workers – we are all Sisters in this life.

To look at us, it’s unlikely we would be friends to the outside world.  We have a sweetheart, a redneck, an ordained preacher, the girl-next-door, the wife of an ex-husband, and an evil step-mom just to name a few.  I’ll let you figure out which one I am on your own.  We are single, married, divorced, and some of us have been all of those things at some point or another, sometimes all at the same time (that one is a complicated story!).  Some of us have known each other for years, some for a very short time.

When we get together, there have been as few as 2 of us and as many as 17.  We have monthly dinners, yearly camping trips and parties throughout the year.  No matter what the occasion – we bring the party with us.  Whether it is a birthday, Scentsy or pity party, we love getting together and love each other.

Come as you are – we’ll accept you into our world and call you Diva too.

When life starts becoming too life-like, we’re there for each other.  Our camping weekend was one of those times.  A time to relax, laugh, drink, and be our silly selves.  No men, no kids, no work – just fresh air, a warm campfire and the girls.

One of the Divas, Sara, was retelling a story about how much of a klutz she is and commented that she can stand falling still.  While we cracked up laughing, she sat there with the most confused look on her face, repeating – what’s so funny about standing falling still?  It took her a moment to realize her mistake.  I told everyone that it was going to be one of my next blog post titles – I didn’t know at the time how appropriate it would be.

Ever since that moment, I’ve been thinking about what it means to stand falling still.  I think about comma placement and emphasis (yes, I have nerd tendencies too…..):

Stand, falling still

Stand falling, still

Stand, falling, still

I’m all of these things right now.  My life is chaos and there is no end in sight.  Kids asserting their independence, school schedules that are all over the place – pulling us in four different directions at once, my job asking for more and more commitment (not necessarily a bad thing, but has me scared to death), Hun wanting confirmation that our marriage is strong and we’ll weather the storms together.

And so life marches on, and on, and on, and on.

What does “stand falling still” mean for you?