I posted something several days ago and then pulled it back. The post had to do with stories that, though they affect me a great deal, aren’t my stories and I decided it was not the right time to share on one of the other people’s behalf. But this too is a bit about the theme of what-is-on-my-mind-that-I-don’t-write.
There are things that come up that maybe cannot or should not be the subject of a blog post. Sometimes I don’t write because what I am not writing about is exactly the thing on my mind. There have been two such things, and the one will go up later. But not yet. Here is one other such thing. Work.
My job, which was demanding but great fun and wonderful in some ways at the outset, took a big nose-dive for me in the spring, several months into it. It got hard then bad and then it got worse. I worked all the time and my boss grew critical of me. I became anxious. I would wake up every night in the middle of the night with my boss and my worries racing through my head. I would talk to my co-workers, those who had known my boss a lot longer, after some conversation where he berated and criticized me– and I would say “I think I am going to be fired” and one of my colleagues would shrug and say “if you are, you’ll find something else…just do your best.” This was honest but not reassuring. I was so thoroughly off balance and so thoroughly upset it was hard to figure out what to say about any of it. I said a little, but not the extent of it. Through the summer, which was emotionally terrible for me, I was convinced I would lose my job before the end of the year and I was terrified.
Then some different things happened and things turned around. It was unexpected to me– so much so that the fact that things did turn around, even though I could not have seen it coming nor could I envision a way out just a few months earlier — was a lesson itself. This seemed an intractable, untenable situation. And then it turned about 180 degrees, despite my certainty that it could not possibly.
What happened? I don’t really know, except that at the moment it is going very well. To some extent I just hit my stride. I figured out in the way you find your way around a keyboard or a new computer– just how to do certain things, even though what I learned and figured out was somewhat imperceptible to me. Some other things happened. I did well with my part of the work in the context of a very difficult situation facing my boss early in the fall. And there are some skills I have picked up that have always eluded me. I picked up the pace on certain kinds of work considerably. And at my age, I learned, in some ways for the very first time, to dig into certain projects immediately rather than later. Those two changes have allowed me to do certain projects and have given me a great sense of accomplishment and competence. And in view of the fact that a lot of my job involves writing, I think it is fair to say that I am developing skills I’ve never had as a writer. All of this, I love.
So the anxiety is dialed back. What isn’t dialed back is the demand. I understand how to do many more things better and faster and more efficiently. But the demand has grown immeasurably too. And I feel the school year, and this 11- years-old-time with my daughter in particular, and with my partner flying by. So many evenings and weekends, I am not with them. Saturday before last I worked for 9 hours and then Sunday too. I’ve given up Fridays at home. My daughter is playing volleyball on a team, for the very first time and I don’t know that I will be able to see even one of her games. So I face a dilemma about how to parent and do my job and a dilemma about what I want. And I have very little time to think about it. Because I work a lot and then I come home to the other job I have, the one that is most important to me, and often most interesting to me– being a good mom and ally to my daughter. So the quandary is– now what? I don’t know but hopefully I will see my way clear to keep you posted.