Someone’s Poisoned the Waterhole

This last few years have been less than ideal.  And before I start my little ranting post I want to preface with my Perspective Acknowledgement – Yes, I get it.  I’m lucky in a lot of ways.  I am healthy, I am able bodied, I have many luxuries and securities that so many people don’t.  I know this.  But knowing this doesn’t make my yuck go away.  I can’t “Perspective” to death my own life discontent.  Yes, I have it good.  And so do you in some way, shape or form.  But it doesn’t mean we can’t hope and dream for more.  Or begrudge the crap that makes things bad.  Moaning will commence in five seconds.

Okay, perspective check done.

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You’re still here?  Okay, then you asked for it.

I just need to write for a moment, to let out some feelings and some anxieties so they can make their way out of my brain and somewhere else.  I left a job almost exactly a year ago, that I very much loved for most of seven years.  With people I very much loved.  That last year something happened.  My job got into a serious car accident and sustained a closed head injury.  From the outside my job looked very much the same, but it became anxious, agitated, paranoid and quick to lash out.  I watch my job become something I didn’t know, something that drained me and left me feeling broken at the end of the day.

I tried to minimize the things that happened at my job, I made excuses for it and rationalized that it was just feeling a lot of pressure.  But then the people in my life, the ones who cared about me, asked me “Jacque, what is wrong with you that you think it’s okay to stay somewhere that makes you feel so bad?”  And I realized that the job I loved wasn’t the same job anymore.  That job was gone.  When it left, the love I thought it had for me left too. If it was ever there at all.  So regardless of how much I still thought I loved my job, it was an unhealthy one.

So I broke up with my job.  It was one of the hardest things I’ve done.  I got violently, physically ill the day I gave notice-my body purging all the yuck that had built up over the last year I’d spent coping.  Job, of course, was passive aggressive about it.  At that point I just needed to get things in order and I wasn’t up for playing any games.  I knew at that point job didn’t want me any more than I wanted to stay.  Sometimes I wonder if job made up the entire car accident just to drive me away.  But I’ll never know.

My last day, I didn’t say goodbye to some of the people there, and hugged some others.  And I left to be with a new job elsewhere.  New job was cuter anyway.

But old job followed, like an ex-boyfriend stuck so deep in my veins that the only way out would be for a full body blood transfusion.  I was pathetic.  I would wonder what was ex-job doing and if ex-job missed me.  I’d dream about ex-job and would wake up angry, anxious and mad at myself.  It was just a job after all, right?

I buried myself in my new work, out of requirement more than necessity.  It took up a lot of my time and the stress of new job, something I hadn’t anticipated, reared an ugly head the moment I stepped through the door.  It was a many headed hydra that, to this day, continues to grow heads.  I found myself longing for the days of pancake Fridays and bathroom shenanigans.  The dreams about ex-job became more frequent.  I knew, in my head, I was romanticizing ex job because my new job proved to be a whole different strange monster I wasn’t prepared to deal with.  I cried.  New job was supposed to have been perfect job.  I just didn’t understand how things could have become so warped.  I became a person that was told “You need to smile more.”  ME!?  ME??!!  A person that had, at one time, been asked to be a happiness consultant?

It has been almost a year with New job and we have had our differences, we’ve grown to appreciate each other and have fallen into a comfortable existence.  But it was not an easy process.

And old job, well last night I had a dream that I was back working there again, super uncomfortable and unhappy.  I suppose it was better than my dream that I hadn’t memorized the lines to the company play-that one was worse.  But it still shows me how much old job is still polluting my ground water…

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Kicking Out Mommy Guilt

perfectmomMommy guilt wasn’t something I often struggled with until recently.  Now I seem to struggle with it all of the time. Having a demanding work schedule along with my responsibility to my photography clients, writing and my role as Municipal Liaison (ML) for my regional NaNoWriMo, has left me with not a lot of quality time.  That is when Mommy Guilt came roaring at me.  And before you say, “But Jacque, just stop doing some of those other things.  Family is first!” Yes, I know this.  My role as ML is only demanding during October and November and, sadly, I turned down a lot of photography jobs because I just didn’t have the time.  It is mostly my work schedule, and that can’t be helped.  Not if I want to do a good job.  But I digress.

Recently, while I was hanging out with Mommy Guilt and berating myself because it seemed like the only time I had with my kids was spent cleaning or cooking or putting them to bed, I had a great idea.  I would make my kids cook and clean and I would take a nap.  HA HA, just kidding.  But I would give them more responsibility in cleaning and taking care of the house through using planners and we would do it together!  We would plan out our week, have chore charts and each kid would help me cook a meal that we could also eat later in the week as leftovers.  It would solve so many problems!  Only I couldn’t find anything online like what I was looking for.  Especially the planner part.  So I made my own planner pages!

Now two weeks into this process, and mission accomplished.   Mommy Guilt has packed her bags and is now chain smoking in a seedy hotel laying in wait for a poor unsuspecting overworked mom to move in with and my house is a little bit cleaner!.  The kids are learning how to clean and we are spending quality time together cooking!  Plus we have healthy meals for the week.  Win win!

I’m adding my planning pages and chore chart to this blog post so you can make use of them.  We put their planner pages and chore charts into a three ring binder, added some binder sleeves to it to throw in their school work and art projects and let them decorate the front.  Initially I only put this together for my eight and ten year old sons, but my five year old daughter jumped on the band wagon and demanded her own planner.  More free labor!  I plan to post my kid tested cooking together recipes later, so stay tuned for those.

Have a great week!

Download from the link below and have fun!

Planner pages in PDF but an editable excel version can be found here

Cleaning checklist 1

Cleaning checklist 2

Cleaning checklist younger child

Photo on 1-25-15 at 10.15 PM

 

The Band-aid Between Sunday and Monday

I’ve decided that the time between Sunday to Monday (which for me feels like most of Sunday really) is approached in the manner of a child that needs a bandage ripped off.

Fears, tears, crying and avoidance. Trepidation and anticipation of the pain.

But once it is over, you pretty much forget about it and go on your merry way.

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Blerg

Boy oh boy have I been busy.  Day Job requires a lot more time than I expected but I enjoy it so it’s okay I guess.

What I’ve been up to – well, I’ve finished a side project I was working on.  That has been submitted and approve, so that is exciting!

Now that that is off my plate I am back to editing Second Chance Key.  It takes almost an hour to edit one chapter and I’m only on chapter 7 of 20 something!  I have a lot of work ahead of me in that respect.  But I’m feeling excited to get this finalized and out for publishing.

I will be looking for some beta readers for Second Chance Key at the end of June (goodness please people, hold me to this deadline!).  So if you are interested in being a Beta Reader let me know.

What do I require of my Beta Readers?

  • Read my book in a reasonable amount of time (like two-three weeks)
  • Provide content feedback and info about Plot Holes
  • Let me know if I missed a typo or grammar issue

What do you get in return for being a beta reader?  I’ll let you keep your proof copy and will love you forever.  Loving someone forever is a big honor so keep that in mind.

I hope everyone out there is enjoy their world, the sun that has finally come to visit us in Northern Michigan and the upcoming holiday weekend.

Stay safe!

 

 

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Hard at Work

Just not exactly the right kind. You might be able to tell by the scarcity of my posts that I’m busy. All the time.

While I really enjoy the challenge and reward from my new position, I mourn the time I have given up. Lost time at home with the kids, lost time running with dear friends and lost time for writing and editing.

I know things will calm down once I get a handle on it all. But I’m afraid I’ll always be perpetually tired. Trying to do everything and only accomplishing a few things.

Still, I know I’m lucky. I really like my job and the people I work with. I just wanted to peek in here so ppl didn’t forget me. Not sure how much time I’ll have for all my passions but at least I get to do one of them as my day job!

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Black is the Colour…

I LOVE music.  Love it.  It inspires me, it helps evoke emotions and the right song can help me get into the head of a character.  I always create music playlists for whatever I’m writing and that playlist is what I listen to when I write.  If I don’t listen to music when I write I get easily distracted and constantly mumble and talk to myself.  It’s pretty obnoxious to everyone who isn’t me.  So I listen to music.  And sometimes sing along, sorry.

Today Black is the Colour, sung by Cara Dillon, played on my iPhone while it was on shuffle.  This song is from my Earthbound story and something I haven’t listened to in about a year.  I immediately took me back to my main character, Glory and right back into her head.  It made me nostalgic for her and her story.  I’ve been focusing so much on editing finished projects that I haven’t had time to work on finishing Earthbound.

My friend, you’ll find her here, demanded I finish Earthbound right away so she could work on the screenplay.  I want SO badly to get everything together, finished and published (self-published of course-who has the time to look for an agent/publisher?) that I just haven’t had any time to devote to it.  I’m sure I’m a massive disappointment to my friend.  Actually, she’s too busy hiking the mountains to notice so I’ll just keep banking on that to distract her.

Tonight I decided I’m going to work on a schedule for writing and editing that is feasible and planned.  That way when I come home at 8pm, get the kids showered and in bed and it’s 9pm and I still haven’t eaten, I’ll at least know when I’ll be able to write.  And I’ll beat up myself less for not writing on days like today.  Cuz by 9pm on a day like today, I’m fried.  I’m so ready to not be a single parent anymore (counting down till June when the hubz gets back).

Therefore, I will write tomorrow.  And I will write Friday afternoons…even if I want to take a nap instead.  I should also be able to write Monday nights.  So that is my writing plan.  M,W, Fri and weekends when I can.

How do any working parents with kids who participate in activities EVER do anything they themselves enjoy?  That is a whole other topic.

While you ponder how your day job and children ruins all your fun, Please enjoy the music from the soundtrack of the future hit movie Earthbound 😉

(interesting side note.  This song originated or was first attributed to the Appalachian region of the U.S. -in 1915 but most likely originated from Scotland.  It’s an old folksong with much history.  Please enjoy)

 

Importance of Goodbye

sayingbyeLast week was my first week of work and I have to say I was a bit worried.  Not that I couldn’t do the job but that I couldn’t do the job while being a mom and essentially being a single mom.  By Thursday morning I wondered to my husband if I had done the right thing by leaving my old place of employment.  He reassured me I had absolutely done the right thing, that I would be doing work that mattered and work for someone that appreciated me.  Not having my nights and weekends ruined by some work situation would be priceless, he told me.  But I was still unsure.

But Thursday happened to be the day I actually was able to work with people in the capacity I was hired.  Previous to Thursday it was all a lot of reading.  Thursday I had a meeting with a woman who was incredibly pleasant and super excited about her role with the organization.  She even knew my sister and about my side photography work.  It began to turn things around.

My old company happened to be having their annual conference on the same day.  I began the annual conference about four years ago and coordinated much of the efforts.  This year I got much of the logistics figured out but when I gave notice they passed the role to another and that was fine.  But I was having a hard time knowing that all these people around the country that I considered friends, were so close by and I wouldn’t see them.  See, my old company didn’t let me say goodbye.  Not really.  They asked that I not tell anyone I was leaving until my last day, so on my last day I wrote a preapproved carefully worded message saying goodbye. People well wished me and said congratulations but then the company abruptly removed the post and removed me from the group towards the end of my last day.  So I was a little sad and more than a lot resentful.  The bitterness was suffocating me.

Then everything changed!  I went to meet one of my old photographers for dinner Thursday night and with him he brought a handful of people and I was able to hug them.  Giving them  hugs and telling them goodbye meant the world to me.  All my angry bitter sad feelings went away because I got to have closure.  I wanted more than anything for them to know I still loved them and that I would miss them and I think they do.  That’s important to me because I REALLY cared about these people.

So Thursday was a tipping point for me.  It tipped me from an unsure and worried mom with a sudden rush of bad skin, to a relieved and happy mom (that is still recovering from previously mentioned bout of stress induced zits).

How lucky I am that I have something that makes saying goodbye hard.  Until we meet again my friends!