You are viewing girliejones


Today is the last day of my 3 week holiday and I tried not to sleep in in order to be tired earlier tonight and get an early one in. Getting to my day job at 9am will not be an easy task for me. As much as I have loved my break and I've been dreading today with one sleep to go, I must admit that I am recharged and ready and excited to go back to work. Another week would have been just what I needed to finish the declutter and tidy and sorting of my house (I haven't finished my study, nor started on my wardrobe or the big cupboards near my kitchen, didn't finish assembling my CD tower). And I'm not done with my TPP finances and other things on my to do list. But I suspect I just might have hit cabin fever with any more time off, which probably makes me about right, right about now. And I'm looking forward to getting stuck into finishing up the report I have been contracted to finish - get my teeth stuck into one project with a distinct finishing line.

This break has been just what I needed and I highly recommend taking time out to do utterly nothing or utterly nothing that you don't want to do. I tend to focus on milestones in the near future and so Conflux was the one I had in my head for months - final book done, my contract would be expired and I would have had to have started the whole job search/interview thing. But now I am on the other side of some of that and in the middle of other bits of it, and some of it is scary but most of it is reality. And I have my "where to next" for the next 3 months so I've bought some time in that regard. So the next near future milestone for me is Xmas in Tasmania. And that's yay because that's been my "do this/work really hard/pull allnighters etc and you will have a cup of tea in Tansy's kitchen and a glass of wine at Dirk's place to make it all better" focus. 'Cept now it's on the near horizon! And the bit that was really highlighted for me is - I'm taking all the public holidays and hopefully 2-3 days of yet to be earned (and approved) annual leave to do it. So that means ... no time at the end of the year for catching up with myself. And beyond that, sorting a longer term job situation, my sister's baby, the Aurealis Awards weekend, Swancon 2010 for the launch of Natcon 50, taking over the Swancon reins, a heavy publishing schedule for 2010 in the lead up to Worldcon, Worldcon and not to mention possible work to bring myself up to speed for day job, depending on how the cards fall in that arena. IE not much spare time for me to catch up with myself and get on top of things pretty much anywhere on that schedule.

So that thought - that my next serious break could be xmas 2010, and depending on what my job situation looks like, possibly only the public holidays over that time - and the fact that I was just so behind in things (reading, crafting, bill paying, general domestic tasks, film, tv shows, TPP) and so so soul tired, I started to panic and feel like crying, all the time. It wasn't until I really thought about it that I realised I was utterly burned out. The kind of burned out that physically talking to someone was too much effort. I was totally done inside, no energy to give to anyone, none really to draw on myself. Just completely burned out. I know that I let a lot of people down by not catching up with them on this break. You should spend time with your friends on your holidays. But the truth is, I didn't want to go back to work and feel like I hadn't done all the things that I really wanted to get done, and I wanted to feel relaxed and recharged. And it honestly took a full week of doing nothing but crafting and watching TV and films to even begin to wind down to start to relax. I spent more time than I want to admit to you, in bed. Ahem, I spent most of my time in bed. For three weeks. That's probably quite hideous. But all my laundry has been pajamas for the last three weeks. Oops. And it's only the last couple of days that I have honestly started to feel like my batteries were finally on recharge.

I've done a lot of things - mostly I have removed stressors and background noise from my life. Most of the limited socialising that I have done is for things that I have been feeling guilty about not getting round to doing. And other than that, I have hoped that my good friends will forgive me and will catch up with me regularly in my non-holiday mode as part of my usual programming. And I'm looking forward to that.

So that's a lot of words to say that I have felt guilty every time I have declined an invitation over the last three weeks but that I have done so because I really really needed a really long period in this quiet, dark room here.

So I've spent the last three weeks mostly lost in my own world and my own thoughts. Admittedly for a lot of that time nothing much was actually going on up there in my head. I honestly didn't know I could actually turn that thing off! On the other hand, I bet the fact that I did has significantly contributed to my Zen like current state. I've been doing grunt work that didn't require thought. Clearing and decluttering, putting things back in their newly assigned places and entering 5 years worth of receipts into the TPP spreadsheets. Watching TV and sewing.

The funny thing is though, I feel like the whole thing has been some kind of ritual. I've ruthlessly thrown away a green bin and a half's worth of papers and whatnots. A lot of it has been bits and pieces that I had kept as keepsakes of the ex and my time together and which I now no longer feel a need to keep, to remember or to mark that time. It's been really freeing - not the process of throwing it away but of realising that it no longer holds much meaning or emotion for me. To feel as though I am past this.

Added to this, was the fact that I FINALLY was able to do Marichyasana A at yoga class last week. I have been utterly unable to make progress on this pose for this whole year. And for some reason its the one pose I really really want to be able to do. I want to be able to do the lotus but am far less irritated by my lack of progress on that position. Now, I put that down to not having sat at a desk i front of a computer for three weeks which kinda freaked me out by how that can lock up the muscles across the upper back. Anyway, I went back on Friday for a massage (part of the ritual I'm doing) and had a chat with my yoga teacher during that (I so love her place for having a massage, it's filled with incense and lit candles and calming music and the space is where we practice yoga so it can be either an energising or relaxing vibe but always so utterly fabulous) and she mentioned that the area that I had unblocked was over the heart chakra. Now, believe in that stuff or not, but I like the idea that I finally nailed this position the same week I realised that I am past the getting over of my ex point. I think my heart is actually free of that stuff and that I am now open to new possibilities. But at the same time, I feel very grounded, very zen and very unperturbed but it all. What will be will be and in the meantime I am very happy and secure and filled with purpose and direction.

Last night I finally picked up the novel I was reading on our last holiday weekend trip together to Rottnest Island, just before I left for WFC in 2007. It turned out I was only 60 pages from the end but I just had never even contemplated finishing it. Last night I did. And now it is on the "to leave the house and be returned to its owner" pile near my front door. I finished that book and picked up a new one and started that. No big deal. I am free.

This weekend I got my hair coloured a different tone (chocolate with very red streaks) and visited the beautician as the final steps towards physically bringing my ritual of closure/new start to a close.

I feel really good. Really rock solid right now. I feel, I guess, robust. My yoga teacher says that's what practicing yoga does - the art of bringing the meditation of the practice into your every day life. I didn't feel great about how my interview this week went and the funny thing was, I was able to look at that as one event, one act in my life rather than the entirety of who I am, which would be how I normally process that kind of thing. You know, it went badly so I am crap, stupid, an embarrassment, not worthy etc etc. This time I was able to look at it, feel the emotion of not feeling good about it and then watch it pass by. One emotion floating down the river. Not the entirety of who I am. I like this zen state. I hope it sticks.

And for the reward of coming all the way to the end of this very very long post. Here is the photo of my to read and borrowed bookshelves after the clean and sort of yesterday (thanks to those who tweeted at me during the sorting process!). I thought it might be fun to take regular photos over the next year to see how this fairs. It *should* be the active place in this room - projects in progress that get progressed.

And the sorting of my own books into categories begins:

Do you think it's the Vitamin B?

This weekend I watched Season 1 of Pushing Daisies and the only season of Kitchen Confidential. I have now started on the Dresden Files. That makes me sound superlazy but I have also cleaned out and refolded a fair chunk of my wardrobe, done all my laundry, cleaned up the kitchen, done a food shop, read for Last Short Story, worked on the TPP taxes, made rocky road and spent a nice long time with friends last night.

I'm starting to think that I'm feeling like I'm moving out of my transition period and settling into this as my life. It's the only way I can explain why I am finally attacking a bunch of tasks that I have left untouched for 2 years. I'm finally actually unpacking properly and moving into my house. I'm running a proper kitchen (this week at least) where I actually bake and cook cause I feel like it and want to, not because I think I should. I'm sorting the TPP finance spreadsheets and taxes and just looking at the cold hard balances on each project rather than the back of the envelope ones. I'm tidying up and actually getting and then being sorted rather than just talking about it.

It's like all this time I've been faking it and now I just *am* it. Hard to explain but like, I want to be the kind of person who doesn't arrive at people's houses with my hands empty. Up till now I've kind of had to make myself do that but last night I did it because I wanted to and it just happened. There was no "I should". And there are less "I shoulds" these days than there have been.

And best of all, I finally have the headspace to watch movies - it's been weird not being able to watch film and not being able to explain why not.

I'm not faking it anymore. And it feels really good. (Also my house and life are much neater and getting far more organised and functional.)

random stuff

I'm a Jewish vegetarian who developed OCD (among other reasons) whilst living in a shared house where roommates had dodgy hygeine and where stepping out your room in the middle of the night to go to the toilet could mean your barefoot came in contact with a raw and bloody bone.

So, it is of some oddity that the toy Benji has been carrying around for days now is a dried pig's ear.

The counselling is working?


Big thanks to T for talking me down off the Crazy Ledge (project commitment wise) today. I should remove the comfy cushions and snacks so I don't find myself there so often.

A few things that are sort of linked

I've recently marked another milestone on my progress towards ... getting better? And reaching these always makes me a bit reflective, I guess.

I haven't mentioned it lately but I am still LOVING yoga. Last week I moved to the weds advanced class and it's awesome. I love that it is just the right amount of challenging and the classes are the right size for the teacher to give you the attention you need and to show you the next level of difficulty to work on. I like it because the process is familiar to me and because I can see each week areas of my body that have improved, are more stretchy and limber. And also because my neck and back pain has vanished as well as any knee issues. And my knees are actually more bendy and stretchy than they have been for years. I'm working on the lotus. And I've accepted that it might take me years to get there. I'm working on shoulder stands and so on which challenge my feelings of claustrophia. I can do bendbacks again.

And I like the vibe and how I feel after going to class. This particular class. I like that its an hour and a half of active meditation that I am forced to do once a week - there is so much to work on in a class that my mind has no option but to focus and be in the moment. All deadlines and to do lists get checked at the door. And I leave the class feeling calm and like I'm ready to take on the world again.

But I'm also very aware that yoga appeals to the obsessive part of my nature. And I'm also aware that I'm never going to completely overcome that part of my nature and nor would I want to. It's what makes me a scientist and researcher and editor. It's what helps me balance my projects and solve problems. It's who I am. In other words.

So that has been a hard thing to work through with the OCD - the idea that a lot of what I was obsessing on was not wrong (fucking hello with the rest of the world catching up this year after Swine Flu). And rather than changing completely, I just needed to kind of pull back from the extreme, step back from the edge of the cliff. It's what? 3 years I've been working on this stuff? And I still know that I haven't dropped every single thing. I mean, you can't make someone that close to the edge, who is operating at 9.5 out of 10 level of anxiety all the freaking time, just STOP. They'd explode.

And so what's been interesting is watching myself come back down from 9.5 out of 10 anxiety to... I dunno, maybe a 2? Sometimes a 5? And that the depression sort of dissipated as well. But more so watching the disentanglement of the OCD parts from me. I think that's probably the best way to describe it. I ended up in this total ball of knots with no way to assess what was real and what was not, and what was important and what was not and what was realistic and what was not.

So it's this process of taking aspects of your life and trying to overcome bits of obstacles one at a time. But interestingly, seemingly unrelated aspects turn out to be related and dealing with one thing, fixes something somewhere entirely else, unexpectedly.

To explain what I mean would mean I would need to reveal the crazy in my head and I don't always like doing that. But here is one example of the twisty, knotty ball of me. I can not remember when I was last not dehydrated. I'm kinda surprised I haven't shrivelled up into a prune or dessicated or something. And I'm lucky nothing horrible has happened to me. But yeah, I mostly operate at a default of dehydrated. I used to drink too much coffee. But worse than that, I didn't want to use public toilets so I just didn't drink anything. Most days I have a headache.

But two things happened last week or the week before? Firstly the hives incident of 2009. And secondly I decided that I really and truly want to lose some weight. It turns out, I've read around on dehydration cause ... I dunno why. But it turns out that it's hard to lose weight when you are dehydrated - kinda makes sense cause you need cells to be fit and able to process fat into energy and so on. But with the hives, I'm really aware that I need to flush "stuff" out of my system and the more I drink water, the better and quicker that will happen. Plus I've heard that often we eat when we are actually thirsty and that you need to retrain your body to recognise thirst.

So this entire week, I've sat here with a pot of tea and drunk copious quantities of rooibos tea. It took like two days but suddenly I was more thirsty, eating less and going to the bathroom a lot. And I noticed that if I wake up in the morning and don't start drinking water straight away, I feel more dehydrated than normal. Which makes sense. And I figure if my body has been trained to be like this for so long, it's gonna take a while to switch to a new state, much like when you change your calorie intake. And my body dehyrdration level increased by a mere 1% after all this work - I have spiffy bathroom scales. (I lost a kilo though).

So, the change, essentially, was to bring the hives under control. But it's had me thinking a lot about my overall diet and how far it has deviated from when I was first sick and ate a lot more unprocessed foods. It's made me a lot more aware of what goes into my mouth. It's made me think about how much more I could physically do and how much less tired I might feel if I wasn't doing it with the addition of being dehyrdated. But mostly, it's been - "OMG check this out, this is the fifth time I am using the bathroom at work today! I bet I never thought I would ever be able to do this ever again way back when. And check out that anxiety level is still a 2. I am going to be ok."

Sometimes it's hard to see progress. But it feels good to take a step back and look at it, when you can.

And also, why the hell did I stop drinking tea?

Female Appreciation Month Day 19

This is the song for me today. I had a good day!

Florence and the Machine - Dog Days (acoustic)

Check out the official version of the song here

The dark days are over
The dark days are gone
The horses are coming
So you'd better run

Run fast for your mother
Run fast for your father
Run for your children
For you sisters and your brothers
Leave all your loving, your longing behind
You can't carry it with you if you want to survive

The dark days are over
The dark days are gone
Can you hear the horses
Cause here they come!

A lot of people keep asking me how I am or how I am feeling. And I know it's cause they care, and they want to know that I feel better. I'm not really sure how to answer them though. It's not like I have an infection and I just need to put the ointment on three times a day and all will be good.

I feel better, and that's what I say. I do feel better from the low of Saturday. Today especially, I would call myself functioning. And my brain seems to have cleared a lot and I have been able to be very focussed on things today. Today would be the first day that I have been able to be detail-oriented again and I seem to have churned through a lot of work. And that feels good.

But I'm left with this after taste, I guess is the best way to describe it. Now that my head is clearing and I am starting to be able to not only approach work but start to get on top of a few things, I am starting to build momentum to get on top of a few more. My desk at work looks less like a bomb has hit it and my email inbox is slowing ticking down. And that in itself makes me feel better. And so I am partially left wondering if what I experienced was more like burn out than anything else. Did things just get on top of me Thurs/Fri and instead of being able to use all my techniques for dealing with lots of balls in the air, did I run out of steam, was I too tired after two weeks of late nights working, did I just have nothing left in the tank? Tears and tantrums and grumpiness surely are the next logical outcome.

Is this just a passing feeling and with more sleep, better diet, more exercise, hugs and the meeting of a few deadlines, will I feel more back to me?

The question I really have though, is - which is me? Will the real girlie jones please stand up? I was so absolutely happy with my life and how things were going up to last week. I genuinely was content and rolling along thinking life was awesome. Now, I can't even remember what that feeling feels like. Which is real? Which is the transitory emotion? If my happiness is so fleeting, was it really real in the first place? Did I only think it was real? Or ... is this feeling the one that is transitory? And how do I know? How can I tell the difference? Am I the butterfly or the philosopher dreaming of the butterfly?

I'm definitely all discombobulated.

My internal barometer is out of order and I have lost my sense of perspective. I *think*. Though maybe now I have it back and it was lost before? It's a funny thing for the general state of your brain to just .. wig out.


Down here, in the fricking hole

I flocked the first post but it feels disingenuous to not openly blog bad days as well as good.

I fell into a hole on Thursday. I don't know why or how. It kinda almost felt like a switch got pulled in my brain. I really was good on Wednesday. Maybe tired, still with this headache. But mostly good. Thursday sucked. Friday got worse, I became less than fully functional. Saturday bit the big one.

What can I say about it? It's the first time in a long time - years - since I contemplated all sorts of nasty thoughts. Some things I won't normally even let myself think about. Thinking about them leads to bad bad things. Normally, every day, I am on top of that. It's been a while since I saw this darkness, since I knew it. It's been a long time since I felt dead inside. And ... I'm kinda surprised how quickly it came on. There was no sliding into it. No not noticing the signs. Just bam and fuck you.

I feel a bunch of things ... so I guess not quite dead inside after all. I feel anger towards myself, I feel disappointment, frustration, impatience. I feel sad I guess. I spent a lot of yesterday crying. I feel like nothing matters. None of what I do matters. And I don't trust myself right now not to do bad shit.

That said.

I haven't acted on any bad thoughts. I've had them, looked at them, turned them round in my head and put them back down. I think I've worked too fucking hard to fuck it all off now. It's taken too long to build what I did and get where I was from where I had been and put myself back together. And fuck feeling bad about it now, I think it might mean something to me. And ... self destruction? Well it self destructs. Which is to say, I might feel better tomorrow or the next day and I don't want to have to start over again with the dealing with shit. It was too hard the first time.

And this is why I think I am in a hole and not the abyss.

And as much as I want to feel bad about myself, and as much as I *am* angry at myself, it's not true that I am unloved and thus I can't be unlovable. And I'm not really alone either.

Life isn't about the mistakes you make or the things you fuck up or fail at. It's about what you do *after* that. I really do believe that. And I'm going to be okay. I believe that too.


Latest Month

May 2015



RSS Atom
Powered by
Designed by Tiffany Chow