catling42: (Default)
1. What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?
Dragon boating. Hired movers. Worked with heat-moldable plastics and foam to make costume armor. Moved a fishtank to a new apartment. Built an aquarium stand. Made a video (of ridiculous). LICKED AN ICE CREAM CONE (got a frenectomy so now I can stick out my tongue).

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't really do resolutions this past year. There was just a lot going on. I did start using HabitRPG/Habitica, though, so I've been working on actually eating lunch and getting regular on doing any basic self and pet care. I have some goals in mind for the new year... they're not super organized yet, but let's try:
- exercise to get strong enough to kick ass/keep up once the dragon boating season starts, also to keep my back from being stupid and to have better body mechanics at work
- get back to meal planning
- make enough things to be in at least one craft fair in 2016
- figure out the next steps for my career
- take time for myself to actually relax and rejuvenate AND NOT FEEL GUILTY FOR IT
- make time to connect with friends, whether in person, chat, skype, or letter
- develop a meditation/mindfulness practice --- I'm starting with a Moments jar, where I write down lovely moments and read them at the end of the year. I have one from NYE in mind.

To Resolution Revolution it up, my word is selfcare.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No? I have so many pregnant friends right now oh god I'm dying of baby rabies. Must make so many tiny socks.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. Did anyone close to you get married?
Ben and Joe! Got a couple weddings coming up in 2016, too!

6. What countries did you visit?
Nada. It's been a while since I've been able to do much of any travel. We went to Chicago for Ben and Joe's wedding and to see Erica and Sam and the kids in November, though.

7. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
I'm getting sick of saying this: Financial stability. Better health. Better time management.

8. What events/dates from 2015 will be forever etched in your memory?
My 10 year college reunion
breaking the snow record in Boston
Meeting Jessie? Deciding to be friends with that group, at least.
The visit to Chicago, particularly time spent with the Teslas and their kids
Surprising Mom for her 60th bday

9. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Honestly? Not dying. It was a rough year. But setting up all the things to get care and such is definitely an achievement. Purging/decluttering a lot of shit before moving was also a pretty good achievement.

10. What was your biggest failure?
I feel like my biggest failure was missing so much work in the fall from illness and depression, but I also feel like that's a symptom.

11. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Got stitches (and a tetanus shot) for a cut in my hand after catching a knife that fell. That was fun to work with. I've had minor back tweakiness and have had to have a series of three cortisone shots in my right foot for a Morton's neuroma. (The second doc I saw for my foot was amazing and explained why I'm getting this pain instead of just giving me a shot... that was super recently, so I'm gonna get some orthotics and new shoes and hope it doesn't come back this time.) I had a MAJOR depression flare when trying to change brainmeds, and basically lost most of October and all of November to feeling like shit. Threw out my back and had to go to the ER in the last week of December, just to end on a strong note.

12. What was the best thing you bought?
Probably my laptop.

13. Whose behavior merited celebration?
This still stands: Will's. Over and over and over again. He's just really fucking great, folks. Also Aria has been awesome.

14. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My ex-landlord was frustrating up through the very end. One of my roommates, at times. A client (who has since been fired). The TrashMan who lives in the dark parts of my brain. Whoever failed at making Cheerios actually gluten free. Trump + his supporters. The entire system that has cops killing black folks and getting away with it.

15. Where did most of your money go?
Moving and rent and paying off my student loans

16. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Gluten-free Cheerios! Making costume armor! Decorating for my Halloween party! Making spooky food! Making new friends!

17. What song will always remind you of 2015?
The entire Original Cast Recording of Hamilton

18. Compared to this time last year are you:
i. happier or sadder? Tough one. Sadder most recently, so it sticks more.
ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter, but also stronger.
iii. richer or poorer? Out of debt, so that's pretty great. Feeling the hit from not getting paid in October, though.

19. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Well, while I still didn't get my boat in the water, I did get in a boat in water, so I'm gonna call that half achieved. Biking. Making stuff on the regular. Getting massage. Going outside. Going camping.

20. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Depression. Brain weasels. Dealing with moving apartments crap.

21. How did you spend Christmas? What was the best gift this Christmas?
I spent Christmas at my parents', as usual. I didn't get any particularly exciting gifts from family, because I knew what I was getting: the all-my-colors octopus duvet cover, and the tool set that I specifically asked for. For the record, I am completely in love with the duvet cover, and it changes my entire room for the better. Mom's evil cat, Molly, finally let me pet her, which is pretty much a Christmas miracle.

22. Did you fall in love in 2015?
I fell in a whole lotta like in ways that became problematic because of situational crap.
Still loving on Will.

23. How many one-night stands?
I'm changing this question because its stupid. To "How many people did you kiss?"
The answer, I believe, is three.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Still watching S.H.I.E.L.D. Didn't watch much TV this year, though. I'm way behind on Capaldi's Doctor Who. I started Jessica Jones, and I'm planning on watching Daredevil and Leverage, though.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Hate is a strong word. I need to find a new question for this one.

26. What was the best book you read?
Oooh. I really enjoyed Rysa Walker's Chronos Files (yay kindle!), and I'm enjoying Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles audiobooks.

27. What was your greatest (musical?) discovery?
HAMILTON. Also Mouths of Babes

28. What did you want (to do) and get?
Got a reliable oven, people to go out and paddle on the water with (dragon boat team), new friends. A trip to Chicago. The aforementioned Christmas gifts.

29 What did you want and not get?
Still no dancing, still no century ride. Still no second sweetie. A bigger bedroom.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Inside Out. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was pretty cool, too.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 32. I was moving so soon after that so I didn't have a party. Went to see Lindsey Stirling play in Boston. Will got me an ice cream cake that I could actually eat. And Carolyn brought me cupcakes that I could actually eat. So that was pretty rad.

32. What one thing would have made your year more satisfying?
Not having that horrible bout of depression. Actual gluten-free cheerios. Dating stuff working out differently.

33. How would you describe your fashion concept in 2015?
Heading away from practical-femme towards dapper/comfy

34. What kept you sane?
Will. Kitties. Friends.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don't think I actually have an answer to this question right now.

36. What sociopolitical issue stirred you the most?
gun violence
police brutality
the upcoming presidential election and its ensuing shitshow

37. What is one thing you would go back and re-do if you could?
Wouldn't have messed with my meds. (And during that depression, I would've said a bunch of other things, too.)

38. Who was the best new person you met?
I'm going to angle this slightly, but deciding to be friends with Aria has made my life a lot more awesome.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
Adulting is hard, yo. But satisfying when it works. Will really has my back. I have quality humans in my life.

(Aaaand, previous years' for comparison..... the tag goes back to 2004)
catling42: ([dean] and being caught in between)
This is where my thoughts were meandering the morning before I decided not to be stressed (still working on that, btw):

I'm feeling so frustrated lately. My body isn't cooperating. My moods are crap. My motivation is low. And that's with having my record-setting week last week, work wise -- 20 hours of massage, 14 clients. Massage therapy full time. And oh many did my arms hurt.

Lately I wonder if I should be trying to find other work. If I'd hate it. Yesterday, if maybe I could do both. In order to do 20 hours of massage, I need to be available for more than 30 because of time between and breaks and stuff. I wonder how much I should be trying to find other work, how much that undermines my biz. At the same time. I wonder if I shouldn't be putting all my efforts into getting ends to meet however I can, even if that means having fewer hours at my biz. But how can a biz be successful if I cut back? It's all so circular.

And there's the also the feeling of lack of free time, already pervasive with babysitting not even 10h/wk (though that's technically my obligation). I wonder if actual money were exchanged if that would feel less frustrating. Probably not, because the hours still suck and so does the communication. Also, some of that feeling of lack comes from never having a free evening to make plans with people.

And I'm at a weird point in my biz where I have too many clients to cut back a lot, but not enough to always fill my schedule. And then there's the piece where massage therapy full time doesn't seem to be enough to pay the bills and still have much fun. Or live the lifestyle I want, at least, or be comfortable when the support structures for low income are taken away, as is already happening.

I don't know if I have what it takes to basically start another biz, some sort of content creation internet based thing that could provide a more passive income with less physical, less 1-on-1 work, that I could do alongside massage. Maybe if I had an innovative idea, but I really don't. I guess in some ways, I do want a "regular" job, one with a more typical schedule, enough pay and maybe even benefits. It feels safer, anyhow. And has growth possibilities.

What is scariest is, I could get by on massage therapy full time if my body holds up, but there is absolutely no growth potential... can't work more hours, physically, and can't raise rates through the roof. *sigh*
catling42: (letterpress)
I might need someone to tell me going back to school is not practical.
catling42: (Default)
Tonight, just now, I decided to stop being stressed out. It was kind of amazing.

I spent a couple hours earlier this evening talking to Sarah about my various woes--my current career path seems to cap out at just-barely-making-it-if-I'm-busting-ass, thinking about moving in the fall when my lease is up and how expensive the housing market is around here, how many injuries I've had in the past 10 months and what that means.

(Seriously, in June I got hit in the eye, developed a retinal tuft from that, and then had vertigo for two weeks. In October I badly sprained my left ankle, and was diagnosed with Sjögren's Syndrome. In January I got a cortisone shot in my right foot for Morton's Neuroma. February was depression-tastic. This past weekend I threw out my back. Something wants me to slow the heck down.)

Anyway. And then I let the brain weasels have some time looking at job ads (earlier it was looking at apartments) on craigslist and sort of came to the conclusion that I should just be me and everything will eventually work out. Maybe I need to stop pushing so hard, and then I'll get hurt less. Maybe eventually I'll figure out what it is I need to be putting into the universe to get back what I need. But I do need to start blogging, in a more professional sense, not just (incredibly sporadic) journalling here.

And I thought, well, today hasn't been such a bad day, despite my back being stiff and sore. I went to bed late after sketching for a while. I slept in, and woke to kitty snuggles. I journalled a bit. Will came over and took care of heavy and/or tall things that I shouldn't be doing yet, and we had a snuggle and chat. I made a card for my four-year-old "nephew," which involved lots of cutting and gluing of colorful papers (oh how I wish we lived closer to those friends and those kids). The brain weasels took over for a while midday, but then Sarah came by and we had sushi for dinner and watched the fish and talked. Not bad at all. Maybe if I can balance all the Things What Need Doing with some of this stuff, everything can actually be okay.

Now I just have to figure out how to implement the No More Stressing campaign. Unfortunately, I still have Unresolved Issues around yoga. Maybe one day I can get back to that. I've seen a new therapist twice so far, and I'm going back on Tuesday. I can't decide yet if she'll actually be helpful for me. I am skeptical. But then, I am generally the most skeptical and defiant ever, so I'm giving her a chance.

Also, it just occurred to me that when I am not making things on a somewhat regular basis, my body freaks out and breaks. Huh. Interesting.

I suppose now I should start with actually going to bed. Both cats are curled up tails over noses. My sleepytime tea is gone, so I'm out of excuses.
catling42: ([firefly] river)
How do you keep on living? I mean, it sounds easy, you just keep not dying. But how do you keep on living with this fucking disease of depression that creeps into everything you've ever loved about yourself and tears it to shreds?

How do you keep going when your eyes feel dull and you don't want to do anything anymore, not even sleep? Sleep is fitful and at the end you have to wake back up and deal with the world again. You don't even want to cry any more, except you keep doing that when you least expect it. You haven't really eaten, but you still feel like throwing up.

You can almost remember sometimes that something could be beautiful--you stop and look and your breath catches for a moment--and then the weight inside pulls you back down into the hollowness, back under the water you've been treading for so long and you're so, so tired.

How do you run a business when you can't even bear to think about tomorrow, when the hours stretch out to unbearable lengths, the clock ticking so slowly that you're sure it's stopped? When keeping commitments feels like pulling teeth?

How the heck do you beat this damn disease? Where is the faith that it will get better with the spectre of disease always hanging over you? How do you reach out of yourself and find help when you're drowning in a hole inside and the shore is too steep to scramble back out of this time?
catling42: ([dean] ghost of a trace of a pale imitat)
There are a lot of things going on in the world right now. But I only have the energy to talk about one of them. Since Robin Williams died of suspected suicide, a lot of people have been talking about depression and suicide.

About awareness. Ending the invisibility and shame. Maybe even about how broken our current system is in dealing with mental health.

I feel the need to contribute to this conversation. To spread some more awareness. At the same time, the thought of posting this is terrifying for so many reasons. But maybe terrifying is good. As long as it doesn’t get back to my clients.

Every one of you knows someone who has struggled with depression and suicidal ideation. I know this because you all are my friends, and I have for a long time, and continue to, struggle. Yes, there have been times when I felt the only way to make anything bearable — not better, not good, just bearable — would be to take my own life. This isn’t pretty, but its real.

Many of you know I have depression, but many of you have had no idea. Some of you know that I take medication daily. Not to “be happy” or “not feel sad” or so many of the things people say about mental health medications. I take medication so I can sometimes feel like myself. So the dark curtains part and I can see the sun, I can show people the light in myself, I can get up and get out and do good in the world and enjoy the things I actually enjoy but depression sometimes tells me I don’t.

Some of you know that I’m allergic to cats but keep them anyway because I love them and they’re a reason I need to stay alive every day. That once upon a time, the reason I *didn’t* kill myself when I was down in the deepest darkest places, is that I didn’t know who could take care of my cats and keep them happy. Not pretty. Real.

Some of you know that I wrote prolifically in high school, hundreds of poems, dozens of filled journals, mostly about being depressed, scared, confused, sometimes romanticizing it, sometimes needing to bleed it out of myself somehow, sometimes just playing with language like any normal creative teen. There was a year where I completely retreated, lost the connection I’d had with many of my family members, avoided going to school to the point that even the popular kids in my classes expressed their concern about *me*, the girl who blended in with the walls. I still struggle to feel connected after that, now fully 14 years later. I got lost somewhere and couldn’t show you where I’d gone, and that trip to the depths changed my experience on such a fundamental level that I was never sure if I could relate to you afterward. To be fair, I don’t just have depression. I also have anxiety, specifically about social situations, so that sure didn’t help with the whole connecting part, trusting folks not to judge me, or just not understand. After all, family is the toughest love of all.

I have almost never not known I am loved. I remember a friend in college desperately telling me that I was loved, that her friendship and that of our little group should be enough to keep me alive. But that’s not what depression is about. Its about a monster that lives inside your head and tells you horrible things, day in and day out (after this many years, I call mine the Trash Man). Its about a monster that you may not even know is there. Even knowing I have depression, knowing I have this history, it is adaptable and slimy and sometimes finds a way around the ramparts I’ve built and gets its tendrils back in the soft parts of my brain and I forget that its lying to me again.

It changes constantly, from day to day, though sometimes it is the same for days on end. Sometimes I have depression like you have a headache, dully aware of it behind everything, but not a driving force. Sometimes it is like pneumonia and I can’t breathe for sobbing. Sometimes, a cancer that spreads through my entire body, making my limbs heavy and painful, my brain foggy; terminal, unrelenting. Some days are good, some are bad, some are unending misery. Some days I can blissfully forget that I have a monster living underneath my skin.

It is both better and worse that I am self-employed. I can make my schedule such that I have down-time when everything feels amazingly overwhelming. I don’t have to hide at work the same way some folks need to from their employers. I work in a generally solitary environment, specifically designed to be as calming, peaceful and relaxing as possible (and I’ve done a damn good job of making it so), and am lucky enough that generally my work revives me. But there is plenty of work on my business that I don’t get done because I’m sick with this depression. I could be more successful. No one pays me to just turn up and stare at a screen sometimes, or to take sick days. There are days I do have to hide—there are days I call out of my busiest day of the week running around the city doing chair massages because I can’t get out of bed or everything makes me feel like crying, or I’m just plain exhausted for no apparent reason. And I am afraid I’ll lose those lucrative gigs that overwhelm me so much but are delightfully steady income when I actually turn up.

So that is a tiny window into my life with depression. When I first started writing this post, it started funny:
I wish that turning 18, or 20, or EVER came with a manual, How to Be an Adult. With chapter headings: How to Go to Work Every Day; How to Keep Your Apartment Clean; How to Cook Healthy Meals on a Regular Basis (subheading How Not to Waste the Food You Bought); How to Remember to Do Laundry AND Pay the Bills; How to Not Spend the Entire Day in Your Pajamas; How Not to Run Out of Cat Food (How to Get Off Your Ass and Go Buy Some Cat Food, No Really).

How to Have the Energy to Keep Going.

How to Know When to Ask for Help. (subheadings: How to Get the Kind of Help You Need; Navigating Health Insurance; What is Normal, Anyway?)

But depression isn’t funny. It is frustrating and real and not about any one of us in particular. It is a nasty disease that almost never entirely releases it’s grip on people. Remission is a word they use for cancer. I use it for depression. It’s always tentative. It could always come back. But there are leaves.*

And while I’ve needed to share my story, a lot of people have talked about this better than I have.
These comics put depression into easy-to-digest bites, packed with insight, for those of you who are visually minded, or just completely at a loss:
Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half has an amazing piece about depression and the epic nothingness that it can feel like.

catling42: (Default)

I'm in Portland! Whee!

catling42: (Default)

I am having feelings about my teevee. I feel like it's been a long time. WTF Agents of S.H.I.E.LD. What the actual fuck.

Where do people go to deal with this shit these days??

catling42: ([dean] he's lyin on the ground)

I can't believe I have to post twice in one week that I am safe. This week is fired. I am home alone, curled up in my loft. The cats could care less about terrorism. I am kind of in shock. I used to live in Watertown. Used to work in Brookline. I have friends at MIT, and I'm in Cambridge all the time. I work and play in Somerville and Boston. All these places are under shelter-in-place lockdown. I keep having the beginning of a cry, but can't keep it up to get the horror out. Oh, world, my heart hurts. It aches.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

catling42: (Default)

I am safe. I was at a Dark Crystal/Labyrinth double feature all day. Waiting for a ride home from Cambridge now. <3 everyone.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

catling42: (Default)
…and I have time to do these things when I'm home sick with the Death Flu. More on that later.

Now, 2012 in review. )
(Aaaand, previous years' for comparison..... the tag goes back to 2004.)
catling42: (Default)
Fun game:

Bold the ones you have and use at least once a year, italicize the ones you have and don’t use, strike through the ones you have had but got rid of.

I wonder how many pasta machines, breadmakers, juicers, blenders, deep fat fryers, egg boilers, melon ballers, sandwich makers, pastry brushes, cheese knives, electric woks, miniature salad spinners, griddle pans, jam funnels, meat thermometers, filleting knives, egg poachers, cake stands, garlic presses, margarita glasses, tea strainers, bamboo steamers, pizza stones, coffee grinders, milk frothers, piping bags, banana stands, fluted pastry wheels, tagine dishes, conical strainers, rice cookers, steam cookers, pressure cookers, slow cookers, spaetzle makers, cookie presses, gravy strainers, double boilers (bains marie), sukiyaki stoves, food processors, ice cream makers, takoyaki makers, and fondue sets languish dustily at the back of the nation’s cupboards.

Hmm. I try to only have useful implements. I'd love to have a double boiler; I improvise. I'm giving up my food processor because I got a fancy blender that does the job of both, and can also be a coffee/flour grinder. Ice cream maker is high on my list--the attachment for my kitchenaid mixer. Some of these things make much more sense in the food allergy cooking world. Also, my ex-roommate had an oft-used electric wok, and my mom has a spaetzle maker that was used most weeks until she discovered she can't eat gluten anymore.

I also have a cupcake carrier that holds 36, and one that holds 24, can also carry cakes, and kind of folds up. I think I'm going to give away the 36 one, but it is occasionally VERY useful. I do have a cupcake stand that is almost never used, and a pair of bento rice molds that only got used while I was in massage school and making cold lunches every day.
catling42: (Default)
What is a goal, anyway? Does it have to be something concrete? Because I’d say my number one goal is to learn how to be okay -- how to be happy and self-contained. Happy in a self-contained way? Not that I’m denying my exuberance in any way, but that I shouldn’t need anyone or anything else to be able to be happy. I know goals are supposed to be easier to achieve with concrete steps and the like, but we’ll get there.

I am, right now, what I’ve just decided to call “in-betweening.” I’m in between homes (which sounds much, much more comfortable than the “homeless” I’ve been using in my panic for the last few weeks), staying in a friend’s house while I apartment-hunt with my new soon-to-be roommate in a city an hour away. I’m in between jobs, finishing up one while I interview for another. In-betweening has always been something very, VERY uncomfortable for me -- I am most comfortable and least anxious with my stuff around and a plan in place, and here I am with no idea where I’m living or working, all my stuff in storage save a suitcase, my laptop, best-sleeping pillows, and probably too many books. So you can just imagine, these last few months coming up to my in-betweening time, trying to make all the pieces of the living situation and workplace puzzle fit together and, how I’ve been thinking of it until now, failing miserablly, has been incredibly stressful. We’re talking Cat-the-anxiety-case, freaking-out-and-crying stressful.

At the same time, I managed to take an absolutely wonderful week-long trip by myself to England, to see some dear friends and ex-housemates get married, and to get to experience the country. With this, everything fell into place -- my dad had frequent flier miles I could use, for the cost of the taxes and fees (flying out of Heathrow is exorbitant!). My friend who lives in London this year happily offered to let me crash in his flat. And housing in Cambridge for the wedding was taken care of by the bride’s family. So off I went, got my passport renewed with my changed (four years ago!) first name, booked plane tickets and left the country with two weeks left before I was out of the apartment. And it was completely amazing.

The wedding was small and beautiful, and I knew no one but the couple and some of the bride’s family. The accommodations and seating done in such a way that guests just had to talk to a variety of people from different parts of the bride and groom’s lives and make friends from all over. My time was largely unscheduled -- I was free to roam Cambridge, and then London, seeing what interested me and spending time with friends when they were available if I felt like it. I wandered. A lot. I talked to strangers, played pick-up ping pong in a park along the South Embankment of the Thames, made friends with a five-year-old girl on the Tube (we counted trains out the window). I saw a couple museum-y things, but didn’t stress about fitting it all in. I forgot how much I enjoy travelling alone, especially when there’s someone friendly around to make a few plans with. I have learned, at least, how to Maintain A Holiday Attitude when I am travelling. I would like to learn how to do so in the rest of my life.

Anyway, I’m sitting here in my friend’s beautiful suburban back yard, looking up into the woods that abut parkland and listening to the (baby?) redtail hawks skree and not needing to drink a cider or eat ice cream, but enjoying my simple cup of tea and letting myself just be. And I decide to open up my Reeder on my phone and scroll through a few blogs I’ve been neglecting instead of just reading webcomics, and here I am, reading The Minimalists and No Help Here (you’re always just ahead of me, Sarah) and thinking that maybe in-betweening isn’t actually such a bad thing after all. It’s another two weeks to a month of living out of a suitcase. It’s probably best that I’m piggybacking off of travelling; living out of a suitcase is much more familiar and less threatening. And even though I can’t deal with getting rid of actual stuff anymore, since its all tightly packed into an overflowing storage unit I’m afraid to look at for fear of it exploding, maybe I can deal with getting rid of stuff in my head that holds me back. Maybe then I’ll be more ready to get rid of physical stuff once I can access it. Maybe I’ll have dissolved some excuses (but most of it is art supplies, who knows when I might need them! my style cycles every two-to-three years! I’ve been living with someone who has so much stuff I need to have something so my presence isn’t erased by his!). And to be fair, I did start getting rid of stuff before moving it all to the storage unit, and over the last few years, but those excuses are crap, and the possibility of moving into a large apartment also shouldn’t factor in.

So what do we have? Me, feeling really content, sitting in a lawn chair in the shade in a beautifully-manicured backyard and listening to hawks and cars go by and thinking that maybe life isn’t all that difficult, after all. And maybe it doesn’t matter if I don’t get THE job, because it probably doesn’t pay enough anyway, and there will be other awesome jobs. And will find a place to live, and I am surrounded by good people who want to help. And that is what’s actually important, isn’t it?

Well then.

Jul. 10th, 2012 04:37 pm
catling42: (Default)
Alright. Tomorrow I'm heading out to Northampton to look at a couple of apartments. And maybe talk to some folks about an independent contractor massage job.

Thursday I have a meeting/interview in downtown Boston at an orthopedic massage place. Its an employee position that claims to have great benefits including paid time off and CEUs.

Woah. Well, I guess I get to find out if this cool-sounding Boston job compensates well enough to handle the city. Hmm.
catling42: (Default)
My new life goal: death by tigers.
catling42: (but i can't leave this world behind)
1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?
Got a job in my field. Had an abusive boss. Ended a serious relationship. Came up with a plan.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't think I made any last year. We'll see about this year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No one particularly close… 'thene is pretty far away.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
Nothing beyond hell in my own mind.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
Sanity. Myself back. Enough money to get by without continuing debt. Hope even through the end of the year.

7. What dates from 2011 will be forever etched in your memory?
I don't think there are any specific dates, but November as the month of two serious break-ups.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

9. What was your biggest failure?
Losing myself.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing physical beyond some frustrating tendinitis. Emotional/mental health took some real hard hits this year.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
MacBook Air is pretty great.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Not mine. Laura, back towards the beginning of the year. Anthony, particularly between April and now.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Mine. Laura, a lot.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent and food.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Fluevogs. Small space design blogs. Creating my loft bed. Laura.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
You know, I have no idea. I am pretty much ready to forget 2011.

17. Compared to this time last year are you:
i. happier or sadder? sadder.
ii. thinner or fatter? fatter.
iii. richer or poorer? richer, but still not getting by, and with much less hope.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Actually making things. Seeing friends. Doing stuff for me/not waiting for others.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent Christmas at my parents', as usual.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
Heh. Fall further, perhaps. And it blew up in my face.

22. How many one-night stands?
Er. None.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Dr. Who, hands down. (It might've also been the only show I watched at all.)

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Hate is a strong word. But there is certainly someone I am very angry with who I will not be ready to talk to for a long time. I suppose I might hate my former bosses… I didn't know them last year.

25. What was the best book you read?
I have done an appallingly low amount of reading this year… Heading to the eye doctor in a few days to figure out why my eyes keep unfocusing on my reading. I did really enjoy World War Z.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Fay Wolf's new album is pretty great.

27. What did you want to do and get?
Get a job in my field. Get to be a massage therapist at a holistic wellness center. Date Laura. Started yoga teacher training.

28. What did you want and not get?
A decent paycheck. Friends in the area. A continued relationship with Laura. Hope.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
I don't remember going to the movies, but I think Scott Pilgrim and the Seven Evil Exes was pretty enjoyable.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 28. I don't think I did anything particularly interesting that day. I had a big barbecue later in June.

31. What one thing would have made your year more satisfying?
Only one thing? How about not losing my best friend.

32. How would you describe your fashion concept in 2011?
I have learned to embrace yoga/sweat pants… between work and yoga teacher training, I seem to wear them a ton. Wearing jeans is kind of a treat. Vibram Fivefingers on my feet.

33. What kept you sane?
Wait, I've been sane? Maybe Kaylee, who has been sitting on me a lot. Anthony has helped a lot with keeping stuff going, too, even though that relationship also gave me some crazy.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Probably still David Tennant.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
The economy/Occupy movement

36. What is one thing you would go back and re-do if you could?
Ooh. Loaded question. One thing? Maybe ever dating Laura. The up was just not worth the crushing down.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Probably one of my new coworkers, Alison.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
Maybe I actually do just have to do everything on my own.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"And there's things I'd like to do
That you don't believe in
I would like to build something
But you'll never see it happen"

"And this is the last time
We'll be friends again
I'll get over you, you'll wonder who I am"

"Taste the salt and taste the pain
I'm not thinking of you again
Summer dies and swells rise
The sun goes down in my eyes
See this rolling wave
Darkly coming to take me
And I've never been so alone"

All from Third Eye Blind's "Motorcycle Drive By"

(Aaaand, previous years' for comparison..... the tag goes back to 2004.)
catling42: (Default)
I need to start taking better care of myself. I've been making a bunch of big changes to try and get my shit together, and I need to do the little ones, too. So, here we go with a new (hopefully frequent) feature.

Good things I've done for myself today:

-went for a run
-did my chores
-went to work?
-stopped at the grocery store on the way home from work, even though it was almost 10pm, so I have breakfast for tomorrow
-started researching local optometrists so I can get my overdue eye exam (now that I have health insurance…)
catling42: (Default)
So many big thoughts on the brain today. Stayed home sick from yoga teacher training, 'cause I managed to oversleep and then throw up this morning, probably from too damn much mucus. Stupid sinuses. Around 3, I was finally out of bed and really wished I had just gotten up and gone. I'll have to pick up my books and stuff tomorrow when I go down for work-study.

Catching up on Dr Who 'cause I hate to eat alone… Holy crow, A Good Man Goes to War… my brain hurts. River Song, really?

Sometimes I feel like everything in my life is changing. Or has to change, to catch up with where I am. Moving too fast, feeling like I'm sitting still. Always. I need to write more, I think, to figure out what I actually need. But I'm not sure I will; I've been (mostly) enjoying my denial for a long time.
catling42: (Default)
This morning is so quiet. Its the perfect temperature… no loud AC units, no fans on, no construction in the neighborhood or loud upstairs neighbors at this time, either. This is what I've needed, just being able to be quietly by myself. I've been so actively making new friends through work and running myself ragged that I really just haven't had time to myself when I actually wanted to be awake. Now I have a sniffle and a sore throat to show for all my running around and not sleeping, but also maybe some perspective.

Its taken me a while to realize this time around that I'm depressed and I need to do something about it. I've been conscientious about taking my meds, I've been trying to build exercise into my days, eating better and avoiding carbs and the blood sugar spikes that come with them, I even went tanning to try and jump-start my body into being upbeat. But what I actually needed to do was to admit to myself what is making me so unhappy in the first place. Now, some of those things are really pretty complicated and personal relationship-figuring sorts of things, but I also haven't wanted to admit that my job is making me miserable. Yes, I love doing massage. But my current workplace is not a healthy place. I can pretend, on days when I'm fairly busy with clients, that is all lovely and relaxing, but in truth it is a place of backstabbing and constant anxiety. And as someone with an anxiety disorder to begin with, worrying when I'm going to be taken into the office and yelled and sworn at for something that may or may not be even remotely true is not sitting well.

It has become clear. This job is simply not the solution I was looking for, and I kept holding it as the thing that would get me solvent. Quitting isn't giving up, it's moving on to a better situation. In reality, the spa has allowed me to get my feet wet. In the nearly four months I've been working there, I've built a strong repeat clientele (most of whom I will lose when I find a new job, but some I may give my last name so they can look me up) and proven to myself that yes, in fact, I do do a really good job. I am an awesome massage therapist. I have a ton still to learn, and this job kills my desire to learn and grow. All of my best hours are spent sitting around at work waiting for clients and not being allowed to do anything productive that doesn't relate to the spa (i.e. cleaning and laundry, and making sure to be seen on the cameras in the hallways often enough). I am an adult, and I need to work somewhere that treats me as an adult, respects my desire to work and excel at my work and doesn't feel the need to babysit me or spy on my every action. If I have a long stretch with no work and things are caught up, I should be allowed to go get coffee, to read a book, to use my down time constructively.

I'm also realizing things about how I work, and what my priorities in life actually are. I thought I wanted the security of all my work coming from one place that at first promised me benefits (though I changed my hours to be less unreasonable and then fell under the limit for actually getting those benefits), but now I'm beginning to once again see the potential in having a few different gigs on different set days. I mean, we'll see how it works out, but working as an independent contractor would give me a little more control over my schedule and my income than dealing with noncompetes and long hours of waiting.

So I guess I'm back at the point of applying for jobs. I must say, feeling so burnt out at my current workplace does not make me excited for going in this afternoon, and then long days for the next two days, especially feeling sniffly and sick with this cold that finally caught up to me. But in I will go, after lunch, and put on a good face and do good work for my clients. And then I will come home and write cover letters.
catling42: (Default)
Haven't updated in ages, but I'd like to start, so I'm just going to start without finishing off the stories I was rambling on about previously.


Good Arbonne check-in call with my upline.... the holiday catalog is apparently amazing, with new sets of products that are gift-oriented and a brand new fragrance line. I'm excited to start back up with the business now that I'm settled in at work.

Practiced cello for nearly an hour. My arm is too tired to work any more on the pieces I've got (for my fourth lesson on Wednesday, but I mean srs bsns, guys.) but playing makes me really happy.


New England Regional Conference 2012 meeting for the AMTA.... first one I've been to (I missed the first one in June because I was at Spring). The first half was dreadfully boring, but I actually talked during the second half, when we were going over the proposed budget. I was dreading the meeting, but I think this will go pretty well. Volunteered for the NERC Policy committee, which should only have to meet twice, for dinner the evening before a full NERC committee meeting.

Going to the Natick Mall on MA tax-free weekend. Aurgh. Teavana was had, and we waited in line at the Apple store and picked up a trackpad that I forgot to order when I ordered my new MacBook Air tax-free on Saturday. I can't wait 'til the Air gets here... it is tiny and will be perfect to cart around to work and everywhere else. I haven't had my own laptop for a while (I've been borrowing Anthony's laptop from work), and I'm super excited. Also, I like tiny things.

This past week:

Grueling. Exhausting. Uterus has been trying to crawl out through my back since Thursday, and I'm starting to wonder how deep of a tunnel it's made. Good week work-wise, though. Had two days with three clients and two days with four. Definitely picked up from last week, though we're still in the summer slump. Once folks are back from vacations, I'mma make bank this fall.

This coming week:

Looking promising so far. Tomorrow's free, and I think I'll get my nails done, 'cause they're gross and they have to look nice for work. I at least need to get the shellac taken off, since it's on week three and mostly grown out and peeling. I'm hoping to get at least some organizing done in my room, continuing on Project File Cabinet. Tuesday is my long day at work, Wednesday I have tentative weather-permitting plans to kayak and then C is coming over for my cello lesson and her massage (best trade ever). I also set an actual goal to call two people about Arbonne by Wednesday, so I'll have to check in about that. Eep. I hate the phone. Thursday morning I AM GOING TO YOGA, DAMMIT, and now that I've said that out loud, you can all hold me to it. And then crazy work Thurs afternoon through Saturday... I don't do much else between those days but eat and sleep and maybe play a board game and practice.

And that's that. There, I wrote something.


catling42: (Default)

January 2016



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