A few weeks ago, I wrote about some of my career aspirations in a post called Work’s Been on My Mind. Some of my worries are currently less worrisome because last Friday I got a text from one of my Drupal peeps who decided that he needed to hire some help to finish up the theming on the project he’s working on, so he wanted to see if I had availability. Big fat yes! Good timing, too. I seriously needed to get some income flowing again.
So, that’s something I’m really excited about!
However, it’s been rough the past couple of days as I’ve transitioned from living a relatively laid back existence where I rolled out of bed at 1pm and my cares largely centered around writing blog entries, reading blogs, making sure the dishes were done and agonizing over whether or not I should do my exercises. Not to say that I was totally relaxed, I was certainly doing some major emotional heavy lifting because I had the time to focus on that…. but you know, I was living a life where it didn’t matter what hours you were awake and which hours you were sleeping.
I’ve had a surge of anxiety attacks the past few days, which hasn’t been fun at all. However, I’ve been trying to practice some massive self-love while I’m going through this transition by just being mindful. I’m trying to be loving towards myself. Instead of beating myself up for feeling like I’m struggling, I’m trying the best I can to embrace it and learn from it. I’m trying to remember to reach out to others when I feel like I’m struggling, and that it’s totally okay to feel overwhelmed and stressed out.
So… What’s been stressing me out?
1. Sleep. Our house sleeps on an nontraditional sleep schedule. When I’m in between gigs, my sleep patterns largely mimic James’. He works in a music venue, and while his hours vary from this occasionally, he generally leaves the house at 1:30pm and isn’t home until midnight, because he needs time to wind down from the day and we like to spend a little bit of time together before we go to sleep, this generally means bedtime is sometime between 3 and 4am. It also means wake-up time is a little later too. If we sleep in the ballpark of 7-8 hours, that means anywhere between a 10am to noon wake-up and a morning full of watching TV and taking the slow boat to getting up and moving.
Since this new gig requires me to be working during the daylight hours, I’ve been having to rethink this whole sleep schedule thing. Ideally, I want to be awake and at my desk by 10am so I can start my day and be done by 6pm… which logic would say means I ought to be up and out of bed at about 9am so I can do things like shower, get dressed, eat, etc. However, when you’re going to bed at 4am getting up at 9? Not so easy. I can cope with 5 hours of sleep, but it makes for an extremely cranky morning. I’ve been failing hardcore at my ideal 9am wake-up and have been hitting the snooze button to as late as 10:30, which ends up making for a stressful morning because I’m trying to get dressed, eat breakfast, possibly shower AND while also being at the computer to do a morning check-in call / IMs to plan my day.
As evidenced by my last post, I had trouble getting to sleep on Monday night (I know, it’s really Tuesday morning when I go to sleep, but that confuses people when I don’t reference the day before) and ended up only getting 3 hours of sleep which made for a very rough Tuesday. I was overtired. I was stressed out because there were a few tasks that I was further behind on work at that juncture than I wanted to be. I had a lot of things on my mind and I was feeling horribly resentful that I had to persevere through and put my emotions on the back burner temporarily. I’d grown used to having all the time in the world to do anything I wanted, including dealing with processing an anxiety attack immediately. My coworker was checking in on me in really short intervals because he was trying to be helpful, and during one of the check-ins, I sort of snapped. But, I made an effort to take care of myself too, I told him that I had to go to a yoga class at 6, and I was so pleased at myself for doing that. I felt 100% better after I got home from yoga. Yay self-care!
I’m still not sure what I’m going to do about get to bed time… I have a hard time falling asleep, especially if it’s before James is ready to go to bed. I’ve had to take melatonin most nights recently to get to sleep, so I may start taking it a little bit earlier.
2. How to handle days when I have to work and James doesn’t. This gig requires me to work during the day, Monday through Friday with weekends off, and I work from home. James doesn’t work Monday – Friday. He generally works Saturday – Tuesday (this week’s weird because he worked on Thursday). When this happens, it means that we don’t get a “weekend” together, it also means that several days during the week I have the added distraction of someone puttering the house doing something that generally looks more fun than what I have to be doing.
For example, Wednesday morning I woke up about an hour and a half before he did and started my day. When he got up, he plopped himself down in front of the computer and started watching The Daily Show, which is sort of our version of watching the morning news. I asked him in at a volume that I thought was loud enough for him to put on earphones so I couldn’t hear it… It was distracting! I mean, The Daily Show was on! I wanted so bad to just walk away from the computer and plop my ass down in front of the computer for an hour to watch that and The Colbert Report. But I couldn’t! I had stuff to do if I wanted to stop working at 6!
It turns out he didn’t hear me, but I thought he had ignored my request. Instead of doing the rational thing which would have been to get up off my butt and go give him a hug and ask him to please use the earphones, I ended up throwing a temper tantrum like a three year old who’s not getting her way. I threw my keyboard. I stomped and cried. I curled up in a little ball. James came out and hugged me and helped talk me down out of my fit of rage and frustration… and I decided to just walk away from the computer for a bit and lay down. I told him to make sure I got up in 15 minutes, and I laid in bed doing the dead mans pose from yoga and just concentrated on my breathing and cleared my mind. I ended up falling asleep. I think he tried to wake me up, so I asked for 15 more minutes and he gave me 30. I felt a little bit guilty to have to stop work and take a nap like that, but it was totally the loving thing to do for myself and I don’t feel bad that! Besides, after I woke up I was in a way better mood and I was super productive and got myself totally caught up to where I wanted to be by the end of the day!
3. Dealing with day to day household stuff. Cate from Sangui(knit)ie had a wonderful post up today on RevolutionizeHer about letting go of being wonder woman and doing everything, and I knew before I even read it that I totally identified because that photo she picked to go with her post pretty much could have been my kitchen. The dishes got totally out of control over the weekend, and when I started working on Monday I suddenly didn’t have time to do them and the pile just got bigger and bigger, and since I was feeling so overwhelmed from going from not working to working… The dishes sat in the sink untouched. James took over dish duty from me yesterday, and totally whipped the sink into shape. I ended up doing the tail end of it though… We had to do it in two batches because we ran out of dish rack space. I succeeded at not beating myself up too hard over the dishes… but I’d be lying to say that it didn’t stress me out the first couple of days. I’d walk into the kitchen and see that pile and just be all, “No fucking way! This sucks!”
Today was really the first day all week where I felt like I really hit my groove in terms of work, so I’m definitely getting back into the swing of things. I’m far from done with this subject as a whole… but I think I’m going to stop for now… I’ve already made this blog post FAR too long. Congratulations if you made it this far! YOU DESERVE A METAL! YAY!