Catching Up

I have SO much to write about, but I have been SO sick the past week. It was a combination of being WAY too busy the week before, not getting enough sleep, traveling, resting (stopping everything long enough to get sick), traveling more, and then my body just shutting down.
I flew home very early Tuesday morning after getting literally about 1.5 hours of sleep, got home and went through work email, etc..., and then slept, and slept, and slept... and then had to take two sick days off of work and slept more, and went through a roll of toilet paper with my runny/stuffy nose. I went to work yesterday, but also felt horrible!
My friend Becky brought me the best Chicken Soup!
I haven't been quite this sick in a while- Much more sick than with than the common cold, but not quite sure it was the full blown flu (never threw up), but I did have a fever a few times. UGH- I thought I had skipped the sick season this year (Colin has been sick a few times and I never got it- hoping he doesn't catch this!)
Anyways- All of this to say, I am hopefully on the mend and will get to working on posting about the past couple weeks (Lots to say!!) and the upcoming house projects we hopefully will be doing this week in prep for Colin's parents coming in May (Colin's on spring break this week- lucky him!).
Even today we were going to start and get paint, etc, but we ended up getting a bunch of snow so didn't go out... and what did I do?

Drank lots of tea, watched a movie, and then took a 4 hour nap! Woke up at 9pm :) BAM!


A Message to Myself (and maybe to you too!)

I'm really feeling like I need to figure out how to make this happen. 

This being- creating my own creative business. 

Like I said before, right now I have really have no idea where to start or how to get it going, other than... just starting...just beginning. To simply (or not so simply) begin to create some things when I'm not working- to paint, to keep blogging, to continue to write down what's happening and what I'm thinking and what ideas/dreams, etc are being birthed, to stop and take pictures of whatever is going on...

To Continually Work Towards Openness.
I want to get from A to B, and then to C, and then to D…. and keep going until I have this amazing business. And I have to start somewhere.
I'm realizing a huge part of it is simply believing. And in some ways, to fake it 'til I make it. To believe that I am legit and that there is room for me and my voice and my heart and my unique message to the world. To believe that I have gifts and a voice and a style that is mine and not a copy from someone else (although of course I will be inspired by others). 
One of my most favorite quotes (found here)
To know that this path is good and great and that it is something that God would like me to do. That I do not have to keep living in an empty place, but I can create something for myself and my/our life that is deeply meaningful and profound and needed in this world. Yes, I am a pretty good social worker, but it doesn’t mean that’s what I HAVE to do or what’s good for me to do anymore. 
Ever since I was small- I felt like I had to take care of everyone else and naturally, I chose a degree and career that revolves around doing just that- taking care of everyone else... which is not a bad thing at all. But for me, I'm realizing how empty I am, how drained, and how unhealthy it's becoming. I need to do something that will fill me up. I don't mind working my a** off, if it is something that makes me excited and alive and passionate.
My value and worth in this life (and to God) does not come from what I can do for other people or how I can help them. I have value just being me, even if I did not do one more thing for another person! Not believing this has kept me in a broken and stuck place... always believing I have to fix and take care of, which in turn, created a career path where I had to care for so many other people. I've believed the lie that I do not deserve an amazing, fulfilled, exciting life. I have been believing that I need to continue to live in a place of brokenness, suffering, emptiness, dullness, and depletion (my own and carrying other people's). I've also believed for so long that this (social work/helping people) is where my greatest giftings are and this is how I will be able to help people best.  But I am really beginning to think it's a lie too! I think believing that my worth and value only comes from committing my whole life to the helping professions has been preventing me from healing my heart, opening myself up, and living a passionate and fulfilled life- mostly because I'm exhausted and I'm carrying SO much for so many people with no outlet. It's way too heavy.
I've felt a lot of guilt when even considering doing something different, like I will be failing God and humanity, which is absolutely ridiculous, but still something that's there. I think it comes from a place of not really listening and trusting my own heart and not believing that I can and deserve to create the life I truly want. I've begun to see myself in different ways and am beginning to approach myself in a much more loving and caring way too. Instead of saying to myself "What is wrong with me that being with SO many people each week is so exhausting for me? Why can't I just get on with it?", I'm beginning to say- "What do you actually need to feel your best and do your best?" and being able to give myself what I need and to be okay and accepting of whatever that looks like. And what I've really come to realize this last week in particular, is that this line of work is not what's best for me... so bottom line- I need to figure out something that is. I'm starting to ask myself what that amazing life would look like and allowing myself to start believing it and taking steps towards it! 

I have no idea how I will get there, but I am starting.

And PS: In my ideal world that I am planning and hoping to create :), I fully intend to volunteer my time/energy to continue to help people. Once I am in a place of abundance and not depletion, and once it's not a job for me anymore, I will be able to be that much more present and have more of myself to give. AND I am totally grateful for the life I do have. I know how blessed I truly am and lucky that I have a job and the life I do have. I just think- there is a different path I am supposed to be living and I am trying to get there.


Getting from A to B

This is something I've always struggled with.

I can see what needs to be done, what I would love to happen, and what I would like ____ (fill in the blank) to look like or be like... and it is so incredibly difficult for me to not only get there, but even figure out how to get there (the day by day, week by week things that need to happen to create change).

Work this week was really difficult for me for a variety of reasons. Too many meetings, too much to do, too many people and things to follow up on. I worked basically a 12 hour day on Wednesday only to have to leave the house again at 745am on Thursday.  I was already 'done/exhausted/spent' Wednesday afternoon, but add on 4 more meetings that lasted more than an hour each with families... and I was fried by the time I finished yesterday. I used up all of my 'people energy' way earlier in the week and just had to keep going. I took a 4 hour nap on Thursday. I barely woke up at 9am today and tried really hard to get all the work things done I need to do before Monday. Maybe 1/4 got done, which means I will be working on Sunday. Add to that some ongoing issues with work/the company/how things are playing out... and it creates one really frustrated and fed-up girl. And I am not the only one feeling this way. Many more people in my department feel similarly.
Today, after barely being able to get out of bed.
I've been looking for jobs and trying to figure out what to do and how I can cope and manage and deal with it all until Colin is done with school (a little over 5 more years). I'm not very qualified for much else outside of what I'm doing or the jobs out there really do not pay enough (plus- I do have good benefits and my schedule is flexible). The things I'm qualified for are in this field and I have the best deal I will ever have in this field with the degree I have... so I'm kind of stuck. I've thought about going back to school and haven't quite decided that's for me. Plus- there's the whole needing to support us especially while Colin's in school. It's not news that Colin really doesn't make anything and we would not be able to pay our bills if I quit working.

Which leads me to continually thinking about how I can become self-employed and what kind of business I would like to build... and HOW?

HOW? is the biggest question really, for me at least.

I have no idea where to start or what to do or how to narrow my 'creative interests'. I like a lot of different things, none of which I have a lot of experience in. I like photography, but I don't want to do it full time- not as my sole way to make money. I love painting, but not sure how to get that really going. I love curating and collecting. I want to create things, design things, have a shop online and maybe a physical shop, and mostly- I want to love what I'm doing and have fun and meet amazing people.

How do I get from here to there?


Highly Sensitive People

A few weeks ago, I came across this book and across the term Highly Sensitive. I bought the book on Amazon and have been reading it. I'm not quite half way through yet, but it's been good to read. I already knew a lot of it already about myself, I just had never heard the specific term Highly Sensitive. I always considered myself to be introverted (needing alone time to 'fill up') and definitely know about sensory processing and being under-stimulated and over-stimulated, which I think I am both depending on what happens. So this book is kind of tying it all together for me I guess. I'm sure I will have more thoughts as I read more of it, but lately I've been thinking a few things about it and about life in general.

Like I said a few days ago, I decided not to go out to dinner on Sunday evening with people that I love and DO want to be around and hang out with, only because I knew I needed to not be out and with people before work this week. It can be hard to make those choices. I don't like letting people down and hurting feelings. But usually, I really have to think and gauge where I am whenever I make a decision to go out or to do something out of the routine. Will I feel better being alone or will I feel better being around people and being social? It just depends... I can say yes to something a week in advance (and I definitely do like planning ahead- it helps me feel in control and be able to spread things out that I have to do in order to be ready to do something), and when the day comes, I sometimes have to cancel because I just can't take it and know I need to be at home in a quiet place.

Last week I met a couple friends after a long day at work at an Irish pub. I really never go to bars/pubs (just not my scene) and it was totally fine, other than it was so hard for me to concentrate/hear/focus on my friends. And I think this happens a lot with me, whether it's a baseball game in the summer or a busy party- I enjoy doing those things, but I really end up feeling so frazzled at the end of it. On Sunday after Eve's party (after doing so much to plan it and then the actual parties themselves and staying up so late), I was almost sick on Sunday and all I could do was do nothing really that whole day. High stimulation events also leave me feeling really disconnected and dis-satisfied with the time I spent with someone, since it can be hard for me to connect and focus in those environments.

I was also thinking today that I am really thankful for the flexibility with my job. Yes I do some very early and very late days and there are quite a few annoying parts of it, but generally I get to work from home quite a bit and sometimes don't work 40 hours. I can't even imagine working 9-5 (or longer) every.single.day. I am not sure I would be able to do it. Like today- I was able to stop home for 30 minutes before one of my meetings and it helped me feel much more grounded. I was thinking of all the jobs I could have and how hard they would be for me. Then I thought how awesome it would be for me to have my own business and work from home more!

I've been checking in more with myself and asking myself what I need in a particular moment and what actions would be loving to me right then/today/this week, etc. I really think that if I can give myself more of what I need, then I will have the energy and ability to be out in the world more, and more social, and be able to say 'yes' to doing more things more often.

And on a different, but kind of related note, I was in Starbucks this week and I used to really like it, but for the past year or so, it's just not there for me. Sometimes I feel like I'm craving it and then, no matter what I order, I just really am not that impressed. I really don't drink coffee in general anymore, but even teas and chai, eh... not so much. So a co-worker and I walked over and I contemplated what to get, if anything (most times I just don't get anything). I ended up ordering a chocolate doughnut, because I do actually like those and I would rather spend $1.50 on something I love and not drinking my calories, rather than $4 on something I really don't love. And it got me thinking- which is better? A doughnut with sugar and carbs (and some caffeine from the chocolate), or sugar and caffeine-etc, in drink form... and I didn't necessarily come to the conclusion, other than, I think I am going to try a little game with myself. Whenever I am in that position (coffee shop, restaurant) I am going to try to find the healthiest thing to get. Just to see how it goes. Just to see if my perspective shifts a little in terms of eating and ordering.

So, a little bit of a shift in general I suppose lately- more self aware and nourishing.

PS:And once I am finished with the book, I will do a post on it.

PPS:I really DO love to be social and do things and be with people, but it can also be hard for me depending on what's going on. If you are a HSP, you know how it is :)