Midlife Malaise

Due to an unfortunate decision in my choice of major in my college years, I have been an administrative assistant my entire adult working life. I’ve been in my current position for nearly 13 years with the same company and my job has changed very little in that time. I don’t really foresee it changing very much in the next 13 years either.

The work is not challenging, my coworkers are not my friends (I am the only woman among 8 men), and culture of my company has changed from  we’ve-got-your-back to it’s-all-about-the-dollars in the last 5 years. Within the next year, my office will be moving inside an industrial plant where I will be forced to dress like a construction worker (goodbye cute summer sandals!) and share a space with my blue collar coworkers (they are good guys but there’s not a lot of talk about arts and culture if you know what I mean). Those are the cons of my current job.

Here are the pros: the pay is decent, the benefits are excellent, I have a mere 17 minute commute, I can pretty well come and go as I please, and I have 4 weeks of paid vacation plus 8 paid sick days per year, plus 10 paid holidays.  My boss is a good boss – my only complaint is that he’s an over-thinker to the nth degree and sometimes that can be exasperating, but overall I enjoy working with him. My job causes me very little stress and I don’t have to work evenings or weekends, or be on call.  Also, and this is a big PRO – I don’t have to work with the general public. On paper, the pros definitely outweigh the cons, especially in today’s job market.

I feel like I outgrew this position a long time ago, but it was a good fit for my family and see also the pros above – it’s hard to walk away from all that, especially since my husband is self-employed and doesn’t bring in any health insurance or a regular bi-weekly paycheck. I feel that I have more to offer than simply being able to do my job quickly and efficiently, but do I really? When I look for other jobs, I see gaping holes in my resume that hold me back from applying for those positions. I haven’t developed any marketable skills over my time here that would be useful elsewhere. And there’s a lot of fear of the unknown too – fear of starting over at another company, fear of rejection when going for interviews, fear of getting into a worse situation…lots of fear all around it.

I hear all of the talk about following your dreams! and dream big! Do what your heart wants you to do!! Honestly, that all sounds exhausting. Hustling sounds like a lot of work when I feel like I should be slowing down and settling in at my age.

I think what is really happening is that I have hit midlife and don’t have a career I can be proud of. I sort of hate that my kids say “my mom is a secretary” when I’d originally had such lofty goals for myself in college. My best friend’s title is Senior Director of Development at a major university…she gets to travel and go to fun events and talk to different people every day. I come to work and sit behind a desk and listen to podcasts so that I can distract myself while I do the same work I’ve been doing for 13 years. I’m not jealous of my friend – she has worked damn hard for her career and deserves every accolade that comes her way – she’s very, very good at what she does and I am so proud of her. I simply wish that I had a career that I could talk about with some sense of accomplishment and pride as well. I feel almost embarrassed to say “I’m an administrative assistant” when I have a French degree under my belt (also embarrassing: I remember very little French now, seems like a waste of tuition).

I heard a term the other day in a Ted Talk I watched on YouTube – “Midlife Malaise”. I think that perfectly describes how I’m feeling. I’m not having a midlife crisis as much as I’m just sort of bored, really. And I’m actually not bored with my whole life – my marriage is solid, my kids are good and healthy… it just seems to be my career or lack thereof that has me feeling inadequate.

This feeling cycles around every so often. A lot of times I can squash it down and ignore it, but it always comes around again eventually. Not sure what to do about it – do I simply need to learn to appreciate what I have or do I need to put myself out there and risk it all for something that may or may not be better? Should I develop one of my hobbies into a side gig and look for fulfillment there? Should I volunteer somewhere and hope I feel useful? Should I just go buy a lottery ticket and pin my hopes on a mega-millions win??

If only I could get paid to read books and drink tea all day…my life would be complete.

photo of teacup on top of books
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

 

 

Enough already!

I’m not used to living my life in chaos. My live is typically lived at a blissfully boring level with occasional blips up in the chaotic air, but for the last few months I feel like I’ve been living in the chaotic air with only occasional blips of boring (I know I keep talking about this, and trust me, I’m over it even more than you are).

And just to add a little more fuel to the dumpster fire that has become my spring/summer, wouldn’t you know it, now my car is giving me fits.

Not just run of the mill fits, catastrophic fits. Like the engine-is-totally-locked-up fits. The kind of fits that take more than a couple of days to repair. Fortunately, it’s still under the factory warranty so everything should be covered. I’m working with the warranty company to get a loaner car because the dealership says they don’t have anymore cars to loan out. Um..excuse me, you’re a car dealer. Your only job…is CARS. You literally have a whole entire lot FULL OF CARS! I understand they have a limited number of cars set aside for loaners but it cracks me up when they say “we have no more cars”. Yes you do, you have plenty of cars – how ’bout loaning me that super slick Camaro you got sittin’ over there? I’ll take that.

So anyway, yay! More stuff to worry about! I love having zero brain capacity for anything other than stress!

On the bright side (because I will ALWAYS search for the bright side, dammit!), we have the supplies to build a nice patio and deck for our pool, we just got some nice kitchen appliances (at a really great deal because they were from the scratch-and-dent section); the hubs and I are reconnecting now that the kids are out of the house/almost out of the house/never home anyway, and my book club is coming over tonight to discuss this book and then watch the movie based on the book on Netflix (Book Club and chill?). So things are not all bad, and I am desperately clinging to the good, easy things in my life.

And if nothing else, there is always ice cream, which is always good and easy.

Take it easy, like ice cream and Sunday morning,

Jill

Losing my Zen

I wanted a new look for my blog so I spent LOTS OF MINUTES last night setting up a new theme and customizing my colors and choosing a cute background so everything would be coordinated and pretty and then I hit “publish” and

NONE OF MY CHANGES SAVED 

and so I tried again today but

IT STILL WON’T WORK

so now I have this random layout and it’s really bugging me but I don’t have the patience to mess with it anymore!!!

I’m going to go read a book and see if I can bring my blood pressure back down. I’ll be back when I’m not apoplectic. Maybe.

 

 

 

 

Talking and coffee and words

I had to come to work an hour early this morning because my boss was going to be gone for an appointment and I had to open the door for the internal auditor who is here this week. Normally when I come in at 8:00, my boss and I have an understanding that we don’t speak for at least the first 15 minutes because he is not much of a talker anyway and I am not a morning person. He understands that he should not approach me until I’ve had at least one cup of coffee. We have an agreement. It works.

coffee-Small-300x225

Well. Apparently Internal Auditor did not get that memo because OMG SO MUCH TALKING. People who initiate conversations at 6:45 a.m. obviously don’t know how to read a room. Dude, I do not care about the weather in Florida. I do not care that your 5’3″ girlfriend gained 8 pounds – apparently she went from 104 pounds to 112 pounds – and you can really see every pound on her (I gave him an earful on how at 112 pounds, she is still on the low end of the BMI scale for her height), and I don’t care that you are supposed to be on a no-carb diet but those donuts at the convenience store were calling your name. If you want me to pretend to care, then at least give me 15 minutes to get some caffeine in my system. I’ve already spoken more words in the last hour and a half than I usually speak all day. Having conversations is hard so early in the morning. I’m exhausted.

In other more caffeinated news, I’ve taken up an obscure little hobby that I’m certain no one knows about yet*: hand-lettering. I started playing around with it on Labor Day weekend and since then I’ve been practicing nearly every day. I really enjoy it because the movements are slow and methodical, and it can become almost meditative in a sense. However, the more I look for resources on the internet (practice sheets, styles, courses, etc.) the more overwhelmed I get because, good gravy, is there anyone NOT doing this? There are so many Instagram accounts and Facebook pages and websites devoted to this that it is very easy to go down the rabbit hole and never resurface again. I finally just had to stop looking and just stick to practicing the alphabet. I’ll work my way up to the fancy stuff later. Maybe someday when I feel like my writing isn’t shaky, and I can figure out spacing, and my lettering doesn’t look it was done by a 3 year old, I’ll post some of it here on my blog. Any of my readers out there have any experience with hand-lettering? Any tips or advice you care to offer a novice?

I think that’s enough words for today – spoken and written. I’m tired.

tired

source

*sarcasm. I honestly had no idea that this hand-lettering thing was such a…THING now. It’s crazy how many websites there are devoted to this stuff. 

 

https://amzn.to/2Ox9rox

 

Things on social media that annoy me right now

I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, so I’m kinda cranky and I thought it would be a good day to talk about the things that are annoying me. I feel like maybe I’ve done a post like this before but I don’t care – these are the things on my mind and I’m gonna talk about them. And because I’m feeling tired and lazy, I’m going to list them in bullet form. (I’d like to thank several different accounts on social media for the inspiration for this post. No, I’m not naming which ones.)

  • When you try to tell a joke, but someone thinks you’re serious. This just happened to a friend of mine on IG today. She posted this really clever photo with an obvious joke in it and someone was all “well here’s what I think you should do…” Not everything is a problem for you to solve, Brenda! Here’s a dollar, go buy yourself a sense of humor.
  • You can’t just be a little bit into something, you have to be completely consumed by it. (I feel like maybe I have talked about this before, or at least it’s something I’ve considered writing about) If you like to read, you can’t just read a book once a month, nooooo, you have to have a whole freaking bookshelf of books you’ve bought but haven’t read or you have so many books that you don’t have room for a sofa or a coffee table…you apparently must have a problem staying out of bookstores. Or if you like coffee then ERMAHGERD you must always have tons of coffee t-shirts telling everyone how much you love coffee and your kitchen must be decorated in coffee paraphernalia and you must always have a coffee cup in your hand! Jeez Louise, can we just calm down a little bit the fanaticism? Like what you like, but don’t feel like you have to BECOME that thing. Sheesh.
pile of books in shallow focus photography
If your living room doesn’t look like this, then you don’t really like to read. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

  • The trend that seems to glorify hating your kids. “Haha! My kids are such assholes, they’ve totally wrecked my body and my life and I can’t even pee without those little jerks banging on the doors!” “I just want to drink wine and forget that I have kids, haha!” “Oh man my kids are the worst – can’t wait until they move away and I never have to see them again!” I mean, I get it, kids are tough and those years when they are little are REALLY TOUGH but if you don’t like being around your kids – it’s probably your own fault and I’m sure you aren’t the only one who doesn’t want to be around them. It’s going to be great for their self-esteem when they get old enough to read your posts on their own someday. And yes I realize these people most likely don’t really think their kids are jerks and are just joking but man, I get tired of seeing this over and over on social media. Also, being annoyed with your kids once in a while is normal – making a whole “thing” of it, however, is not.
  • (This one is going to tick someone off, I can just feel it) Youngish women who cuss. A lot. “I like to say the F word and all the other cuss words a lot because I’m a Badass woman who can do whatever she wants so I’m going to throw a bunch of cuss words into all my posts so you’ll be impressed with me and think I’m cool!” Oh Jiminy Crickets…this is the equivalent of  wearing sunglasses inside…at night. No one thinks you’re super cool because of your creative use of the F word. And please, if one more of these people links to that post that says people who cuss a lot are smarter than people who don’t, or people who cuss have bigger vocabularies..I’m going to have a meltdown (this is also sort of related to my second bullet point – okay we get it, you like to cuss, calm down). I will admit that I throw some saucy words around too occasionally (see bullet point above), but I don’t do it in every single post on social media or in every conversation. If that’s your shtick…well good luck and Godspeed; I won’t be following your account anymore.
crankyoldlady
Me today. And most days.  (I don’t know who to credit this photo to) 

Let’s see what else is annoying me…Oh yeah. This has nothing to do with social media but:

  • When the recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of flour but I accidentally leave out 1 cup of flour and my cookies don’t turn out right. That really burns my biscuits ( or cookies, in this case) because I haven’t had homemade cookies in a really long time and I was really looking forward to it. I mean, I can still eat them, but they’re just not the same.

So what we’ve learned here today is that 1) I need to go through and cull some of my social media feeds, 2) I really need to get a good night’s sleep tonight, and 3) I should always make sure I’m following the recipe.

Do you find that you suddenly get annoyed with things on social media? Have you ever messed up a recipe so bad, but you ate the food anyway? Do tell!!

 

Wound tighter than a what?

Title page of W. H. Auden, The Age of Anxiety,...
Image via Wikipedia

I did NOT want to get up early and work out this morning, but the reason I eventually got up is also the reason I didn’t want to in the first place.  Confused?

Confession time – I binged last night. It was bad, y’all. A Very Bad Binge.  I won’t go into details about what was consumed, but I will tell you that I know exactly why I did it.

ANXIETY

I think have a lot more anxiety than I realized.  It seems like most of my binges these days are due to anxiety.  I used to think I was a boredom-eater or a stress-eater, but I think now anxiety has a lot more to do with it than anything.  And sometimes I don’t know if the anxiety is well placed or not.

Here’s what’s making me so anxious – finances and my daughter’s birthday this weekend.

First, the finances. You may or may not remember that my husband is self employed, so that means the money comes in chunks at a time instead of a steady paycheck. When the chunks take a long time to come in the mail, I start to get nervous.  My steady paycheck helps, but it can’t cover everything, especially when something extra comes into play, like birthdays, for example.  So I’ve been a little worried about when the money’s going to come through. Usually this worry is useless because the hubs has always made sure we had enough, but I still let myself get too worked up about it.

Second, the birthday. It’s actually not just the birthday, it’s that there is a lot going on during the birthday weekend that has me wound tighter than a…whatever is wound really tight (see? my brain can’t even think of the correct analogy here!).  On Friday, my daughter is having a couple of friends come over right after school and we are going to load up and go to Incredible Pizza Company (it’s like Chuck E Cheese for older kids). It’s going to be crowded and crazy there which I HATE, but I know once we get there it will be fine and fun.  Then her friends are going to spend the night that night, and the next morning my husband is leaving early (5am) for a fishing tournament. Also, my son has a band competition and has to be at the school by 8:30am Saturday morning so I have to take him.  Then I will take the friends home about noon, and  then my husband comes home from his tournament for a couple of hours, then leaves again to go on a hunting trip.  I promised my daughter that after he leaves we will go the mall and go to the Build a Bear Workshop so she can make her own stuffed animal (I’ve been promising her this for a couple of years now and this is going to be her present from my husband and I). Then that night, my neighbor wants to come over and watch a movie since both of our husbands will be gone – I’m actually looking forward to this. But my night won’t be over at that point, because if my son’s band makes it to the finals, they won’t be back to the school until midnight, at which point I will have to go and get him. At midnight. After a crazy stressful day.

Whew!

I get all anxious like this whenever birthdays roll around because I put so much pressure on myself to make it all a wonderful celebration for the birthday-person, and everything usually works out fine, but I still get the oh-my-gosh-how-am-I-going-to-make-this-all-happen nerves. So my binge last night was my attempt to soothe my frazzled nerves, and I get that, but I still hate it when it happens. So even though I felt like a bloated carcass and just wanted to sleep it away, I hauled myself outta bed and did my 30 with Elli. And now I’m dumping it all out here on the blog hoping that it will ease the nerves a bit.

I will be so glad when Sunday rolls around and I can just veg. But hey I’m 3 for 3 on the workouts! So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

Just freakin’ lovely.

1 29 10 Bearman Cartoon Apple Ipad Sanitary Napkin

Hey – guess who showed up over 2 weeks late with her big bag of cramps? That’s right…my Lady Time arrived today and she has got an AT.TI.TUDE!!! Oh, and to make it even better, I have nary a sanitary napkin* or any other product of feminine hygiene. Lovely.

It’s a damn good thing this is a 3 day weekend.

*Why is it called a  sanitary napkin? It’s neither sanitary nor a napkin. Discuss.

(These are the hard-hitting subjects we tackle here at the Pear. Everything you don’t care about and really didn’t want to know.)

a la Juice

She steals from me, I steal from her – it’s all good. We love each other!  🙂 So in honor of her, here’s my post in bullet point form because I just don’t feel like putting it together all prosey-like.

  • C25k Week3Day2 is scheduled for this afternoon.  Day 1 almost killed me because I was running uphill against the wind. I’d like to run outdoors again today, but I’m super tired and my allergies are wreaking havoc on my body and whine whine whine, so I might just go to the gym (that I don’t belong to) and run on the indoor track (but if I need to lock something up, it’s okay because now I have my combo lock in my purse).
  • My job is seriously getting on my nerves. Normally I process about 200 work orders per month. This month we are already at 250 and it’s only the 15th!! And my boss just told me about some new things I have to do while processing said work orders, so that just adds to the time it takes to get them done. I am so far behind that in order to get caught up, God is going to have issue extra hours into a couple of my days.  And yet, here I sit blogging.  le sigh.
  • The work move has been postponed because apparently it’s just too difficult to get an internet connection where we are moving, even though it’s only ONE MILE AWAY.  Seriously? Can we take something that’s not complicated and turn it into a huge-freaking-deal? Can we please do that, cause I would like that. A lot.
  • Speaking of crappy work, I just discovered this blog today. Go read it and see if your boss is as bad as hers.
  • I am in a mood today (No! Really?) and it’s because I’ve gotten less than 7 hours of sleep every night so far this week. Not enough sleep sucks. Big time.
  • In related news, I’m a big baby.
  • I am currently very unhappy with the state of my life. I spend all week playing catch up at work and then on the weekends I spend the whole time playing catch up (cleaning, laundry, etc).  This is not a fun way to live.
  • In related news, I’m a big whiny baby.
  • I need a nap.
  • And more coffee.
  • And some pretty shoes. I like shoes.
  • And a cabana boy name Enrique who will do my bidding and bring me margaritas and massage my shoulders and tell me how smart and funny and beautiful I am. All day long.
  • I guess I’ll go get more coffee, since all that other stuff isn’t going to happen anytime soon.
  • le sigh.

Oh, Enrigque, where are you when I need you?

You kids get off my lawn!

Hello kids!  How’s it going?

First of all let me get my curmudgeonly self out of the way:  I hate DST. It screws up my rhythm and it takes me weeks to adjust. All because of one little measly hour.  Patooie! I spit on you, DST!! 

Oh, I’m not done.  Next up on “why Jill is turning into a cranky old lady”, I don’t feel well today. Sarah (my 9yo) had a stomach virus Saturday night and most of the day Sunday, which meant very little sleep for me. She is feeling better today, but I’m feeling a wee bit nauseated. Yuck. I hate this feeling.  😦 

And also, I still am not fond of my job. The End.

Okay now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about the good things about today:

*crickets chirping*

Okay, so let’s recap:  I’m an old woman who is tired, ill, and cranky…yep, that about sums it up!

Oh, before I forget…  The Exercise for 10 Days Challenge is going well. I have worked out for 5 out of the last 6 days. The challenge ends on Thursday and I don’t see why I can’t work out for the next 4 days.  It’s do-able.  The No Sweets Challenge, well that’s another story. Saturday I had cake with the family, and then I had more cake yesterday afternoon. I had asked my mom  to make me an angel food cake because I thought that would be less horrific than a bakery birthday cake. Well, I underestimated my mom. She’s an old-fashioned southern cook, so to dress up that drab Angel Food Cake she made frosting. The most delicious, sweet, heart-attack-on-a-plate frosting. She used powdered sugar, half and half creamer, and…are you ready for this?…I can’t even believe it myself…SHORTENING. Yes, lots of shortening. Like I said, it was some good tasty stuff, but not so much the healthier birthday cake I was hoping for!  It all worked out okay, though. The cake was on the smallish side so the pieces weren’t very big and there was only enough for one left over piece which I devoured yesterday afternoon in a fit of “I”m tired, therefore I need sugar” (and yeah, we all know how well that works!).  Other than that, I’ve been pretty good about staying away from the sweet stuff.

Okay, well back to work for me.  Sorry this is the most boring blog post ever. I’ll try to channel my inner ray of sunshine and have a better post later. Although I can’t promise anything, cause I’m curmudgeonly that way.

 

Livin la vida funky

Still here in FunkyTown, although today I feel like I’m visiting AngryTown (it’s a suburb of FunkyTown) because I did not sleep well last night.  I kept waking up and when I did sleep, I had bad, bizarre dreams.  So today I am one big bundle of sunshine and happiness (smell that? it’s sarcasm!). 

I think there are several things going on here, the biggies being all physical:

  • I am not well rested, and haven’t been in many many days. This fact alone is enough to make me cranky, but add to it…
  • The fact that I have not had much water over the last 3 days. Nine cups of water seems to be the magical elixir I need to get me through the day, but I’ve only had 3 or 4 cups per day for the last 3 days, so I am very deficient in my hydrogen dioxide needs. I’m dehydrated, and it aint pretty.
  • I’m overloaded on sugar. I had too much sugar this weekend, and my mood (and everyone around me) is suffering for it.
  • I’m out of all of my good healthy foods, and the only foods we have left in the house are the dollar store cookies my husband bought. I hate dollar store cookies. They’re like the trailer trash of cookies.
  • I haven’t worked out in 10 days. Well, that’s not exactly true because I did some yoga yesterday, but there wasn’t any sweating involved – it doesn’t feel like a valid workout unless I’m sweating buckets. The early morning workouts are not working out, so I’m going back to my evening workouts.  I need some sweat-therapy starting TONIGHT.

I’m going to go to the grocery store after work today, and then I’m going to go home and download some new tunes so I can get my groove on. If that doesn’t adjust my attitude, then I’m going b*lls to the wall and pulling out Jillian. Heaven help me, I don’t want to go there, but I will if I have to.

Really Jill? You really want me to kick your ass? Because you know I can!