Category Archives: Fitness Professional Life

Thick skin

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My life has felt upside down for a while.

Things changed so radically, but they didn’t change at all. I felt my family falling away from me in a more permanent way than I was prepared for. I felt un-moored.

And stability has returned now, of a nature. And that feels even stranger. Wasn’t everything supposed to change forever? I was prepared to grieve. I was grieving.

But it seems that was premature. I should be happy, right?

And so, I continue. I live my life. I do my job. My job is my sanity, as much as I would prefer to stay home and feel sorry for myself. My job gives me a purpose, and an identity; something that seems to be of value to others.

I’m learning to play guitar. It was painful at first, and I didn’t know if I could continue. But I’ve developed callouses, and my fingers have grown accustomed to the strange positions they must take to form a chord. I’ve learned to play partial chords, which qualifies as “good enough” for my mid-life hobby.

So life goes on, and I develop my mental callouses, and I grow accustomed to the strange forms life takes. It’s good enough.

Seeds of Change

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So much has been happening.

A few months ago, I did a tarot card reading on myself. (As one does.) There was a lot in the layout about dashed dreams and disappointment (no surprise there), but there was also the card about planting seeds of change, followed by the message to be prepared because change would happen quickly.

As with any good prophecy, it has come to pass, but not as I expected/hoped.

Instead of selling millions of e-books on Amazon and retiring to the Bahamas, I’ve had major struggles with health (mental and physical), and came very close to flaming out on my job and going to be a secretary somewhere awful. (Actually, that was slightly outranked by the possibility of becoming a truck driver. If I didn’t have cats….)

Instead of quitting, however, I am going to start working part-time in two weeks. This is a huge relief, because I won’t have to adjust to a new workplace and I’ll still have my health benefits. I’ve never liked being shackled to a job only because of benefits, but there is a lot I love about this job. (And to be completely honest, there were very few jobs on Craigslist or Monster that match my skill set so well.) I’m worried about money, but I’ve lived on a lot less, and I’ll still be making more than I would be making in those secretarial jobs that were my escape plan.

So there’s that…. In the meantime, I finished the 6-week Introduction to Digital Photography course. Some of my photos are at 500px.com. I really loved it! And it makes the fears I talked about a few weeks ago seem so silly. I’ll be starting intermediate next week!

Identity

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Good morning!

Well, I’m starting to feel human again on a more consistent basis. The sense that everything is falling apart, that nothing is worth doing, that nothing in life is interesting… that’s diminishing.

I had a meltdown at work two Mondays ago. It wasn’t pretty. I’m rather embarrassed. But it led to my realizing a few keys things:

1) The department I’m in? They have no idea what I actually do every day. AT ALL. They not only don’t understand how hard I work in my fitness classes, but they didn’t even understand what each class was. I went in with ideas for how to structure the schedule to keep me from killing myself, and spent the whole meeting defining the classes for them. “This one is strength, this one is cardio, this one is cross-training…” This was monumentally depressing at first, but then I just went, hey, you know, I’m not the first or last person to feel misunderstood and/or unappreciated at work. In fact, I think a lot of this kriya has been about adjusting to the corporate mentality. I had one foot in that world, one foot out as a contractor. In August, I agreed to be part of their world, one of them.

2) To paraphrase a current popular song, I don’t have to try so hard.

Spiritually, corporate life is a little difficult for me. The Monday through Friday mentality. The cycle of working for the weekend, and then it comes back around so fast. That Friday everyone says, “Hey, yay, it’s Friday,” and on Monday everyone asks what you did. My answer is usually, “Not much, I rested.” And there’s something sort of depressing about it all, you know? It’s the epitome of the rat race, the multitudes trudging to work head down at the beginning of Joe Vs. the Volcano. But then if you share this with anyone, even someone you consider a work friend, they say, “But aren’t the benefits great?”

Well, yes. The benefits are great. They are the best I’ve had in my entire life. I haven’t adjusted to this, either. Oh, I can actually afford to go to the dentist, the doctor? To take time off just for pleasure? I’m not used to being that person. I’m used to being the chick who is struggling to get by, and who has bad or no insurance. I honestly had no idea how much this starving-artist mentality was affecting me until I started to cry when I got my cards in the mail. I never thought it would happen.

And I feel like I should be grateful. And I feel like everyone is telling me how grateful I should be.

I could honestly not ask for a better place to work. There is actual job security here, ya’ll. No shit. I can’t say where I work, but it’s one of the few institutions on this planet guaranteed not to be bought out, sold, cut back or downsized in my lifetime. As corporate cultures go, it’s a fairly happy one. Most everyone works hard and people are pleasant to each other. Men let women off the elevator first. (Sorry, I like that!) Benefits are great. Plenty of time off.

I mean! What more could you ask for?

So it’s really not the situation, but my adjustment to it. I had gotten used to piecing jobs together and getting by on little. I have actual money in my bank account now, and a vacation coming up in two weeks! I mean, luxury. So I think what I’m trying to say is I understand why some lottery winners get suicidally depressed. If you thought all the unhappiness in your life was because of not having money, not having job security… if you pinned your depression on not having all the things it seems everyone else has… and then you get it. And you’re still so sad.

That’s really, really hard. Suddenly it seems like there is nothing that will happen in your life that will make you feel better.

But I think I’ve found something. I started writing fiction during the week. I’d been saving it for weekends (because time), but now I’m working on a project on my lunch breaks, and a little after work. I notice on the days I do this, I feel so much better. I need that creative outlet, absolutely. I entered one of my photography experiments into the upcoming employee art show, and was accepted.

I’ve also given myself permission to have vices as much as I enjoy them. I drank quite a bit of wine a few weeks ago, then I felt like it was worsening the depression, so I stopped. This week I indulged in some TV obsession. I’ve been really into Supernatural (tenth season, crazy!), and have been curious about the misogyny I managed to overlook all this time – but now it seems like the writers are tackling it head on. Last night I watched the rest of Once Upon a Time from last season, completely reveling in Hook’s hotness. OMG, that smile!

So, yeah, something is working, or maybe I’m just riding it out… but things are looking up.