All I Want Is A Normal Life

Musings from a girl named Normal.

Archive for the ‘work’ Category

Fucking Insomnia

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I woke up this morning an hour before my alarm was going to go off, and, for some reason, I woke up completely furious. The Santa Anas are blowing like crazy, a neighborhood dog is barking like it’s being attacked by coyotes (fucking neighbors that leave their dogs out at night… burns me up), my bank account had been overdrawn by some “accidental” transactions from a business that I will not name because they were so good about reversing the charges immediately (in fact, a lot of weird charges are coming up on my card recently), work is just overwhelming — there’s just not enough time –, the board is pissed off because their favorite show isn’t on the air all the time (and honestly, it’s my favorite show on the station, but still… that’s the way things have to be sometimes), and my grandma is dying, then not dying, dying, then not dying. My mom called yesterday and said that G’ma has snapped out of whatever near-coma she was in and now is sitting up and bright-eyed, which I’m of course happy about, but my heart is on some sort of crazy roller coaster all the time.

And my birthday is in two days. I’ll be 34, and it doesn’t really bother me that I’m getting older. I’m not one of those people who lies about her age and stuff. But still, it’s always a huge big deal and I don’t know about if I’m really up for a huge big deal.

Actually, I think I’m depressed, but I’m staying functional because I’m on the medication. Which is great, but I can’t make any life changes to make myself happier if I can’t identify the specific points that I’m dealing with that make me unhappy. And there’s no fucking way that I’m going off any medications anytime around my grandma being so sick. I have to keep my job, since it’s one of the bright points in my life.

I think I’m lonely. Maybe that will change as I engage in the Wilderness Travel Course in a couple weeks.

I got a huge new fantastic project at work, too, which is fan-freakin’-tastic for my career and stuff, but I need to learn to manage stress better if I’m going to move along in my career. If I continue on this course, I’m definitely going to be overwhelmed. My work offers seminars on these sort of things… I guess I’ll look into if they have any seminars on organization, delegation, and stress management. I thought exercise was supposed to help with the stress, but it seems like even a lot of exercise doesn’t ultimately equal the amount of stress I’m coping with.

Anyways, off to yoga, then to run with Diva. I have an appointment with my old therapist tonight.

Written by normalslife

January 13, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Posted in friends, health, home, work

You say you want a resolution?

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(sorry, I couldn’t resist the gratuitous Beatles reference)

So, here’s how this generally works: I write out some really general 5-year plans, then I struggle through some really far away 3-year plans based on the achievement of the far away 5-year plans, then I write some 1-year plans (again, based on the 5 and 3 year), and then I write some 6-month plans, and finally some 3-month plans, and then I review it all and go, “ok, what did I forget in my Memento-style approach to goal setting?” Usually, it’s quite a lot. In 5 years (2014, to those who want to be surprised by a year that looks very far away, but is actually right around the corner), I am not thinking about how much I’ll owe in taxes, whether I still have this 20 lbs to lose, visiting G’ma before she dies, and stuff like that. I’m thinking in huge generalizations like “have friends,” or “have a good relationship with my family.” But if I worked it from the 3-month out, I wouldn’t ever get to the bigger goals like “Hike the Pacific Crest Trail,” since that requires a lot of foresight that I typically don’t have when thinking of immediate needs…

Which brings me to why I think goals are important. When I’m unhappy with my life, goals give me a hope for the future. Instead of waking up every day and slogging through an endless march of shitty monotony, I know that I’m marching through this shitty monotony to the FABULOUS FUCKING CASTLE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MARSH! OOH a castle! But if I didn’t have that castle, I’d just look at the grime on my shoes and mutter about how no one knows the trouble I’ve seen. And also, I usually start wondering why I’m in this monotony and start taking actions –often quite drastic actions– to break the monotony, which sometimes isn’t the best from a long-term perspective. Likewise, when I’m happy with my life, it’s easy to coast through the years without noticing that time is passing, waking up at some later time wondering why I didn’t hike the Pacific Crest Trail [before I lost both my legs in the Revolution/before I got married and had children/while I was still insane enough to try it]. Don’t get me wrong… everything is great with loving the time you’ve got and being present in the moment and just being happy (in fact, Buddhists would say that this is the absolute in enlightenment, and that wanting all these goals and stuff is the path to unhappiness), but I think I’ll be happier knowing that I accomplished many things and had many experiences at the end of it all. I mean, I had to decide far in advance that I wanted to bike the Lifecycle, otherwise I never would have started training in time. And some day, I will want to accomplish things far greater than the Lifecycle that will require training of years, not just months.

So, that’s goals. Or resolutions. Or whatever.

Last year, I totally phoned it in. Those goals down there aren’t goals. Most of them weren’t even things that I cared very deeply about. Not that I’ll have more attachment to my goals that I’m working on now, but you’ll see the behemoth task of goals when I finally finish them up.

Right now, I’ve done up a 5 year plan and a 1 year plan, but I was distracted and people were talking to me and doing yoga and stuff like that, so I missed some stuff. My dad and I are getting together in a few days for more hours of goal-setting. It’s always great to do the goal-setting with my dad, since he’s so ambitious and taught me how to do them in the first place. Also, he’s wildly proud of me and it’s kind of nice to have someone cheering and who I can cheer for.

And as you’ve probably inferred from the manifesto above, you should really work on your goals, too. I’ve got some handy tips about categories and what type of things to include.

Anyways, off to do yoga!!

What is “normal”?

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On this eve of the first of the new year, I get to opportunistically reflect on the things I have, the things I want, and my purpose in life. I’ve always wanted to be “normal” and have a “normal life” (though most people I know would laugh if they heard me saying that, since my life bears little resemblance to the boring slog that most people think of when they hear “normal” — something I think of more as “quiet desperation”).

Ever since I was a little kid, I didn’t fit in. I looked like a boy until I was 9 and had to get into the habit of asking for the “ladies’ room” because service staff always directed me to the men’s room. I was too tall. I had no friends. Kids made fun of me. I wouldn’t wear a “training” bra and ended up needing a real bra earlier than anyone else I knew. Boys would dare each other to ask me out and then run away laughing. I got picked last in any athletic event I was forced to participate in. “Normal” seemed like this unattainable golden state that everyone else existed in… so when I got to pick my name, I decided that, by hook or by crook, I was going to be normal.

And that’s how I got to be “Normal.” And it really fits me, I think, since I have a regular job that I go to every day at roughly the same time. I have fairly un-exceptional thoughts on a day-to-day basis. I’m not very fashionable, but I’m also not notably unfashionable. I have hobbies like normal people: hiking, camping, hanging out with friends, blogging, photography. Yes, some of my hobbies are un-normal: collecting taxidermy, listening to Cracker all the time, modeling for unconventional photos (right), camping in the desert and applying spark to combustibles.

One thing I think I want to look into for the new year is what really *is* “normal life.” I want it… but do I? And what is it to other people? So I’ve set up a Google alert and will set out to figure out what a normal life is. Wish me luck.