Saturday, October 30, 2004
It all falls away.
And none of it's mine.
Crazy-raging into the night
Moving at the speed of traffic lights.
Thrilled by near-misses
and the fantasy
that any second could be the last.
One Second - unfinished
One second puts a whole new set of hopes on your plate.
One wink from you and I had dreams I never knew.
In the next wink, you didn't see the light change.
Now all my dreams are prayers.
One second changes everything.
(excerpt from Billy Could Have Been a Better Man)
Here we are today
just playin' at life
like we've got tomorrow
I've got a first class ticket,
but the pilot's number came up.
Just another stroke
of rotten luck.
Paint the lies pretty colors.
A dry sound - the dry sound of a heartbreak
Freed - a soul is freed
Don't even know what I wanted to say
Something about how it all got away
and how youth
never sees the truth
Reality is for those much longer in tooth
I find myself longing for us again...like we were at 26. I feel something lost in my soul. A spirit of freedom hiding under all this responsibility. Remember when we were free? Remember when we took the night on like life depended on it? Remember when we pushed every limit as far as we could? Ah...but we're older now. Settled. Consistent. Dependable. And I fear with every fiber of my being that I'll never feel it again.....and I think of them and I know the joy of life now is much simpler....but...do they ache like I do? Like I ache for you?...for youth?
I have to find a way to LIVE again. This shell does not deserve to be called life. Get off the couch. Get away from TV. Get outside. Get a hobby. Get a dream...and move toward it........get busy living or get busy dying.
Don't tell me you really believe
all this "stuff" wins the game?
If that's what you think
then you and I are not the same.
There isn't a thing I'd keep.
I could throw it all away.
All I will ever need
is to hear you say you'll stay
Today I awoke with a new sense. The day is clear and sunny. My mind is peaceful and calm. I am happy. It seems I have accepted one theory above others. I can't explain it clearly except to say that it has a lot to do with giving and accepting. I feel as though I have found myself. I feel as though I like myself. I like who I am. I have not had the fortune of that feeling in many, many years.
A small example of this is demonstrated here: Yesterday I bought lunch at Subway. The checker asked if I wanted my "stamp" (the coupons one collects to achieve that tenth free sandwich). I do not use those stamps. Generally I just lose them. I took the stamp and asked the person next in line if she used them. She, quite excitedly, exclaimed "Yes" and so I handed it to her. Now, this is a small example but the point bares making. I realized that it made me a great deal happier to give that stamp away than to save it. And lucky me, I will have 10 moments of happiness for every free sandwich someone else gets. How great is that?! My payoff is so much better. Ahhhh...the joy of life is fully experienced when given away.
I also mentioned "accepting"...and here is my current illustration of that: I have accpeted a job that has cost me a few things. It has cost me autonomy, money, a title and a sense of having "earned" a position. I am struggling with my ego on occasion. I am mildly "bitten" when I realize that I am no longer looked up to...but down upon. (Sigh.) ........HOWEVER......I went into this venture seeking other things. Longevity, consistency, free-time. I have attained a great deal more. I work in an environment that is quiet, friendly, respectful. I work in a place where I can watch planes and helicopters fly over during breaks and lunch. I work close enough to come home for lunch. The drive to and from is easy, quick and also peaceful. The job will never wake me up at night. It will not intrude on my own life and I feel freed by that fact. For these things, I can accept the losses. I am better for it.
I heard the lyrics of a song yesterday. The song fit my past life...it said "I moved to the highest floor by working every day, but I can't remember anymore, what it was like to play. If I could only find the exit door, I'd run away. I'm so far in, I can't get out." Those lyrics no longer fit. They are alien....and I thought....I have time to play now! And I realized that my freetime is spent in front of the television set. ARGH! I must play. I must learn how to play...what to play. Last night I had a strange epiphany. It seems to me that "play" should have something to do with art. I'm going back. I am coming back. My soul is going home. That is where the peace resides. I am so very peaceful now. Ahhhhhhhh..........no matter what happens next....I am ready to experience it. Good and bad....just to experience.
Another note: I am adding a post here called "My Spiral Notebook". It will be updated with those creative thoughts that come to me. It will be the place to compile for later creativity. It will be a blessing.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Last post 7-25-04**********
-He got Shingles (miserable, LONG ailment)
-We were both out of work. He was fired in a heinous act of vengeance by a stupid child coworker. I was laid off when my previous employer lost a contract
-He went to Portland for a family reunion
-I went to Houston to visit family as well
New post 10-7-04*************
He and I got along amazingly well when we were both unemployed. This stemmed from our being in the same sinking boat. A mutual empathy, I suppose. It also helped that the money wasn't as tight as I had feared. Also, I kept us both believing it would all work out and I kept reminding him (and myself) that we weren't in a "suffering" state financially. Anyway, the bond felt much closer than it ever has. I reveled in it... ...it's fading now back to resentment on his part. Possibly on mine too. I'm sad about that.
He found work at a nice company on August 25th. He doesn't really care for the work. The hours are 50/wk, including 5hrs on Saturday. It pays $7000 more than his last job and he has finally achieved the $30,000/yr mark. He's happy about that and he's trying to tolerate it well. As of this date, I see him falling into old habits. He has fixated on a source of discord at his new job. I guess there has to be one in every situation. I wish he could separate work from home though. I wish he would leave the day at the doorstep when he leaves the job. I have learned to keep the two apart. I wish he would.
We also had a bit of confusion with TWC and Manpower Temporaries. MP claimed he "quit" but their dates and information was wrong...and he didn't quit. It's a long story. The short version is: TWC told him that we would have to pay back $1400.00. We contested it. We had a hearing via phone (stress stress stress) and we WON. This felt like the beginning of good news. On the same day, I got a call back regarding an interview. I got the job. I really like my future supervisor. I think I will be happy. (prayers)
I start on 10-18-04. It is the job I wanted. In my downtime, I raked myself over the coals pretty badly. The problem as I see it, is that I don't want to do what I've been doing for 10yrs. My "friends" didn't come through for me....maybe I never came through for them. Some tried - best friend, best friend's father, my aunt. The rest of my network was a complete letdown. My heart broke. I found a rock bottom. I decided it had to be on my terms this time anyway. I forgave them. Those people have busy lives and assume I am talented enough to handle myself. I'm not a child, after all.
I decided I would start a new career. I decided my strength is my ability to communicate over the phone and my ability to provide "customer service". It is the essence of my success in all past jobs. It is the one thing I "enjoy". I started seeking Customer Service Representative positions. I wanted one in a food manufacturing situation since I am familiar with it from the past two employments (DP and Mstar). I know I have a good grasp of that world. I also determined that a position like this would allow me to avoid the "on-call" situation. I really must get rid of that. It's an intrusion.
Finally, and not at all least importantly, I want longevity. I want to work somewhere that won't die from the loss of a contract. I want to work in one place until I retire. I want to be one of those people who says "I've been working there for 20 years." I don't even care anymore if I do it in the same position. I just DO NOT want to be in THIS boat again....much less every two freaking years. I can't stand the insecurity.
The downside to this? -$17,000/year. I knew the cut I would take. I knew it going in. I hope we can survive. I hope I can teach my husband that he has to take on more of our financial life. That will be very hard. He feels like he's getting ahead for the first time in his life. I have to toss the wrench into that. The idea makes me sad.
Last thing: Sometime in July I developed a lump just above my right jawbone. We didn't have insurance. I knew I couldn't have it checked out. No way to afford that. Two weeks ago "our" insurance went into affect. PHCS via my husband's job. $600 deductible. (now that I write that figure, it doesn't seem so bad) Today I will go to the doctor. I am scared to death. Worse yet, I start work on 10-18.....10 days from now. THIS is the timetable I have to deal with the problem...whatever it is. I will not have sick time until February. I will not be able to use my insurance at my new job for this. Pre-existing.
Please....do not let this shoe drop. Let it be a simple, easy, common ailment. Please God. Please.
Today I am sad. From the fear I am sure. I haven't been sad in a long while...just so you know. These past months haven't been awful. Part of me dreads their ending. Cross fingers and toes and legs and arms and eyes. Pray. Pray hard that it all works out. Pray that I have another summer to enjoy.....and I will stand in a warm rain in July and let the water soak my skin and wash away all the pain of the past.
Sunday, July 25, 2004
First things first:
1) It is amazing the difference in mental state when one has a great deal of free time.
2) It is a sad shame that I should not be enjoying this free time.
3) It is a sad shame that this free time MUST end.
4) C'mon lottery.
- He was let go from his job on May 20th. (a prescheudled vacation day, no less)
- He got that hideous phone call from previous employer's HR dept on May 27th. That same day the headache came on. (That same moment actually.)
- His eye swelled shut on June 1st. We went to the ER that night after I got home from work.
- The ER had no idea what was wrong with him but did a catscan and gave him Demerol for the pain. It didn't help at all and it cost us about $4K total.
- Two days later we went to my doctor. (Mind you, no insurance here.) My doctor determined immediately that he had Shingles. For the record...Shingles SUCKS.
- The swelling went on for three weeks. The pain continues still. Sleep is very hard for him....because Shingles SUCKS.
- I was laid off from my job on July 2nd. Saw it coming. Wasn't angry or resentful. Fully understood the necessity. Got a meagre (well rationalized) severance.
- I hit the streets running on July 5th. Temp agency, old contacts, phone calls, etc.
- He went to Portland for his family reunion (already paid for trip) on July 10th.
- I went to Houston to visit my family on July 16th.
- We both started looking for work again on July 19th.
- To date - we are still, both, unemployed.
Back to state of mind:
One can find a great deal of peace when one doesn't have to work every single day/night. There is very little stress as of now. We ponder things like "what will we eat next" and "what can we watch on TV". The house is clean and the cleanliness is easily maintaned. I am much easier to get along with....as his he....
Unfortunately, it cannot last. Soon (too soon) the money will run out. We must be employed. We stand to lose the house, both cars, our lifestyle........and it isn't a BIG lifestyle by any stretch of the imagination. The house is a rented townhouse. The cars are cheap. Yet - we enjoy what we have.
I'm certain that the mood of things will change soon.
Friday, June 11, 2004
Am I really this bitter?
Is the bitterness being repaid?
So many things falling apart.
Losing jobs. Character assassination. Need for an attorney. Suicidal friends.
Will the dr call soon and tell me the sonagram was bad?
I'm sitting around waiting for the shoe to drop.
I don't want to be miserable.
Did I not realize when I had it good? (No! I did realize it. It was prior to all this!)
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
But what's the point of them keeping score now? We're out.
My income is once again in a state of limbo. I AM A HUMAN BEING YOU WORTHLESS, HEARTLESS SCHMUCKS. HAVE YOU NO DECENCY?!!
19 days and counting DOWN. Counting every second.
Bitter? Me? P-shaw.
I broke down AGAIN yesterday. It was a result of that damned customer calling every 5 minutes to tell me we're a bunch of failures...and then every other 5 minutes to ask for some rediculous favor.
How's this....17 brand new loads for tomorrow...entered today.
How's this...."Please pull a truck out of your ass and return these two loads to their origins." (Not that we made a mistake or anything but it would be awful nice of you to save OUR ass with yours. And by the way...don't fuck it up.)
I'm keeping score. Instant Karma's gonna get YOU.
Leave me out of it.
Monday, May 31, 2004
copyright Rik Emmett (If you're not listening to his music, you're missing out!)
**my apologies for any misquotings**
This age holds nothing sacred.
An empty masquerade.
We're targets for the bullets
on the hit parade.
We practice imperfections.
Learn the art of compromise.
Then gaze upon reflections
of love's disguise.
Who will count the words unspoken?
Who will count the tears we cry?
These measures lie between
the dreams of you and I.
The circles set in motion
come bearing down our way.
The promise of tomorrow
still burns today.
Dancing waves out on the ocean...
Shooting stars up in the sky...
These fundamental things
connect through you and I.
Hear the echoes of the ages.
Feel the rhythm of the tides.
The truth keeps coming down into that place
where love resides.
The places where love resides.
We search for something holy,
then draw the bottom line.
Tracing out our portrait
in love's design.
Every wave out on the ocean;
Every star up in the sky;
These things we share
between the dreams of you and I.
Work. Work work work. Work some more.
I dread it.
I am engulfed in it.
I am nothing without it.
I loathe it.
I fear it.
It is like laundry...there's always more to be done.
It is not like laundry - there isn't really as much pressure to wash as to work.
Is it hormonal? I can't stop crying.
Everything makes me cry.
Sitting here....makes me cry.
Talking to ANYONE makes me cry.
The self-pity thing is annoyingly overwhelming. I HAVE to let it go.
I HAVE to work at being happier.
My life is not bad.
I have love. I have family. Good good family.
I have friends. Good caring friends.
I have my husband. Trying so hard husband.
I have the cats. Happy cats.
I have a roof over my head. Food in my belly. Brand new cars. Music in my life. Cable TV. Broadband internet. SOME finer things.
I'm not really at risk of losing much even if the job changes.
WHY am I miserable?
WHY can't I stop crying.
WHY am I so lost in the self-pity.
WHY do I feel alone and heart-broken and empty?
I don't understand why I can't pick myself back up.
I don't understand why no one can help me.
I don't understand why I can't help myself.
I need downtime.
I need my toes in the sand and an ocean to play in.
I need to STOP for a while.
I need perspective.
I need hope.
I can sit here and dwell on a thousand (million) things I don't have.
(have not done, will never do...)
Why can't I be content with what I do have?
So many people have so much less.
Sunday, May 30, 2004
I can start with what's new. Work was hard this week. It always is on Memorial Day. Trucks are impossible to find. The workforce is whittled down by those on holiday and those hauling produce. 1/3rd of the trucks left to take everyone's freight and the cost is high.
This week...this time in the life of this little company...the price was much more than money. It was emotional. We were attacked by our never-gracious host.
We sit about saying "they'll miss us when we're gone" and "they'll come running back within two months". They will not.
DP didn't go running back to GST. They chose another entity.
MFoods won't come running back.
We will die out. Fall to some sad extinction.
Again....I will do it again somewhere else.
One more time I will hope to land where I can remain until I retire.
I don't want to do it anymore. I hate trucks, trucking, freight, customers, uncertaintity.
There are a number of other things for me to be bitter about right now.
And I could go on and on and on.......but he is out of the shower and I have to put my mask back on so no one sees the pain.
I can't get through the days with the pain on the outside.
No one can really know.
Thursday, May 20, 2004
Then we got home and HE got fired from his job (which he hated anyway). They did it over the phone on his day off. Said he was fired for "creating a hostile work environment". They didn't write him up or discuss it with him at all before this. He hadn't even had his evaluation yet.
I'll grant that the way it was handled was entirely wrong. I'll also grant that it probably had a LOT to do with the negative attitude he carries with him. Which is likely a result of being so unhappy with the job.
Circular issues, I guess.
He's not at all an aggressive person. I've never seen an ounce of real aggression out of him. He can be stern and bitter...but he's not a threat.
Anyway, I'm trying to justify his situation because I know he's hurting and angry. I would be too.
I'll carry us for a while financially. I can do that.
More stress for me though.
Did I mention that I might be out of a job in the next six weeks.
Life is rolling downhill and picking up speed.
I want out.
Are there happy people in the world? Somewhere?
I'd rather win that than the lottery.
Shit and crap and darn.
Monday, May 17, 2004
1) I did the math today and realized I'll be thirty-seven in two months.
The silly part is that I have been telling people I'm thirty-seven for the last year. I am not. I am thirty-six. (and apparently lacking heavily in mathematical skills) So....10 months into thirty-six I realize that I have lost a year....or did I gain it....because it is really all perspective.
2) 10:30am today we got the news that the contract would not be renewed. That leaves me with an odd mix of emotions. I am relieved. In six weeks things will be different. Surely things will be better than now. Also, I'm very good at "start-ups" so new business should be enjoyable for me. Not to mention a whole new set of people to be friendly with. This means I can drop all the annoying old ones.
I'll miss a couple. But a couple out of a hundred isn't much to miss. Besides....it just falls into my life of impermanence. I'll move on and they'll forget me and no one will care in a year's time.
Less baggage this way.
Unfortunately - it also leaves me with no guarantee of employment. For all I know, I can take my ulcer and go. Better heal this thing in 6 weeks. Changing insurance makes this is a pre-exi$ting condition. Cha-ching.
And what if I find myself with a smaller paycheck next time? And what if I end up in the same damned job. And why don't I figure out how to franchise and get a job that will be around for a few years???
What does being a franchise owner do to your resume? Is it one of those things you can't turn back from? Will it pay the bills? Is it time to get smaller bills?
Shit and crap and darn.
Impermanence. The second strongest theme of my life. Unrequitted and Impermanent.
Watch these days go by. They should be very interesting.
Sunday, May 16, 2004
Saturday - 4pm - the load arrived frozen. Had to find someone to fix that. Had to find a new truck. Made calls. Couldn't reach anyone. (Couldn't reach anyone who cared.) 4:30pm went to the office...alone. More calls. No help. No hope. HOPELESS. Finally had breakdown #2. Realized why the job is eating me alive.
I had failed.
Left at 6pm feeling hurt and alone. Then the original carrier called (finally) and we worked something out. The something carried on until 1pm Sunday. No rest for the weary. Bad bad weekend.
What weekend? There are no stinking weekends. No holidays either.
2 weeks vacation isn't enough. 14 of 365 work days. Not enough.
Monday night - stomach problems. Very very sick. Decided it was the last straw and I was GOING to see a doctor. So many unnecessary risks in that act. I don't miss work for silly reasons. I don't come in late. I come in early and work late........I never stop working. It hovers over me. Big grey cloud...always threatening rain. STILL....I had to worry that taking time to see a doctor would stain my image. Make me look like a drama queen. Make me appear weak and pathetic. Not worthy. (WORTHY? I'M WORTHY of this suffering? Now that's just a sick irony!)
Tuesday - made the appt for Thursday @4pm. He said to me "Who else in your family has had an ulcer." Yeah...no surprise to me. BUT here's the kicker: SHE has an ulcer too. SHE has one for the same reasons I have one...only slightly worse since the passing of her father. I feel for her. I hurt for her. So much to deal with being HER. I want to tell her I'm sorry for her and I want to take the pressure off of her......but.....what is the cost to self? When have I ever thought of myself first anyway? (And there is a sad sick part of me that feels terribly "one-upped" when she tells me of her ulcer. Afterall...hers is bleeding. Mine is not. So how dare I suffer out loud.) And I make light by saying "I'm proud of this! I've earned this! I've worked for 11yrs to get this ulcer and these grey hairs! ha ha ha"
That is what I say. It isn't what I feel.
I feel alone.
I feel - WHAT ABOUT ME?!?
I feel relieved somehow. Somewhere between crying on the bathroom floor and a doctor telling me I have an ulcer....I feel relieved.
I am pathetic.
Friday - I worked 7-6. SHE had to go see her doctor about her ulcer and I had to stay late to cover. I don't mind. I really don't mind the work. The problem was trying to pretend I wasn't sick as a dog all day long. "No, it's ok. I understand. You take care of yourself. You have people who depend on you and who need you. You go get better." (Me, I'll just sit her and choke back the bile for an extra two hours. No sweat. I'm getting good at it.)
Saturday - broken things again at work. Sinus headache to add to the strain. I lost empathy and became apathetic like a switch had been flipped. I tried to care but I couldn't. I just wanted to sleep off the Sudafed and the headache. I just wanted to be left alone to cry. I got none of that.
6pm HE awoke from HIS Saturday, 4hr, undisturbed nap. Our moods seemed fine. We needed to go out to get petfood. I said I needed to run an errand too. We showered. We dressed. We got in my truck and we started off. He said "Stop at the box so I can get the mail." I said "Ok." Then we started talking and I drove right by it. In 30 seconds stopping at the box had completely slipped my mind. He got mad. I should know by now that getting what he wants comes first. It just slipped my mind.
I backed up in the drive and took him to the box. He was huffy and kept saying "Well I ASKED!!" I said "I know, I just forgot! Just fucking shoot me in the head!" He got out and mumbled "Go by yourself."
And I did.
I backed right up and left him standing there. I went about my errands holding back tears of frustration. I let him down. I was the disappointment. I am the failure.
He was wrong to throw a fit. The box wasn't going anywhere. He was wrong to belittle me. But ultimately - I forgot to stop. It was my fault.
I came home...I took a little yellow pill and some more Sudafed. I went to sleep on the bathroom floor with the door locked.
He doesn't want me around. So why don't I leave? Why doesn't he leave?
"Sitting around....waiting to die."
Is that enough to tell my therapist the next time I see him? Is that an hour's worth? Don't worry - there are 5 more days until then.
Saturday, May 15, 2004
so I'll write down all the bs that keeps trolling 'round my head.
I'll think of songs and words to fill these lines.
I'll look for all the answers in deviant little thoughts.
I'll try to bring up reasons in these rhymes.
"it must be awful to try to fly with paper wings in the rain."
And away I go. Whatever comes to mind. I don't have to be a part of it. My fingers know the keys.
My mind dribbles on wihtout me.
I keep thinking it will all come to me some day.
I keep thinking the creative juices havn't gone away.
I write while you're away. I need moments of "space".
I want to stop starting sentences with "I".
Let's try AND
And tomorrow offers no relief.
from these dreams.
I live inside a fantasy
so far from real.
I live with hope neverending.
While reality simply remains empty.
Where are all the tomorrows I dreamed about today?
Shouldnt' they be here by now?
Magnetic poems at my friend's office 3/27
We soar together
friends in life
the woman of purple
Love is the only the
frantic cry from madmen
she screams sweet bitter aching love
delicate storms of delirious want
Sleeping by the lazy summer lake
drunk on days and time with you
A symphony of a thousand diamonds
plays when he is near
Please tell me who
will shake me from
my iron dress of sadness
These moments rusts
like repulsive lust
I mean to see
no chains on my feet