Saturday, Dec 29 2012
View LYNNABEL's food & exercise for this day
I am in an anxious funk that I expected to pass much quicker than it has. A number of things seem to be intersecting in such a way as to make me feel both down and anxious/panicky. I'm going to write through them to see if it helps bring any clarity.
Weight - after feeling fairly thin for part of the semester, my weigh has jumped up about 10 pounds. I didn't eat awfully during the fall semester, but I stopped exercising about a month before finals. I am a pretty consistent, if pretty moderate/light exerciser, so I know that this took a toll both on my ability to manage my weight and on my emotional wellbeing. Of course, studying for 3+ hours a day on top of full time work, etc. doesn't make for a lot of time to exercise, but I think this needs to be a priority for me next semester. It will help when I know what my grades are - I need to know if the amount of effort I put in results in grades I can live with. That will help me to plan other aspects of my life.
Work - work is fine about 70% of the time. I need more staff to do what needs to be done, and I'm not going to get them. I feel uncomfortable relating to the business areas that I am charged with 'influencing' and 'directing' in compliance matters because I truly believe my team should be carrying more of the compliance load imposed on us because of the PPACA (healthcare reform). This is my first review-time with my new VP and I'm nervous about it. Although things are good with her most of the time, its still not a 'natural' relationship to me, so I just always feel a low grade anxiety about it. I also am starting to wonder if I have upward mobility at this company...long story short, my friend and divisional SVP was in the running to be our new CEO and didn't get it. This means that the shuffling that might have taken place and opened up some roles won't happen. And I also think my VP is in her role for the long term, which isn't what I expected (or was told would be the case). I won't be able to give normal bonuses to my staff this year because of budget constraints, which I feel badly about.
School - It has been very nice to have this holiday break from school. I am not dreading going back, but I am not super excited, either. As I said above, knowing my grades will help clarify a number of things for me. I think I feel guilty about being in school. Steve did wonderfully most of the semester being so 'on' with the kids 7 days a week, but it has taken its toll. So, when I think of the potential limitations for my career at BC in combination with the guilt about being gone from the kids and Steve, school is feeling more load-like than inspirational.
Kids - I go through phases where I worry INTENSELY about the kids. Global fears but also specific fears about their personalities or experiences or talents. And because I'm gone so much, I feel sort of helpless in this regard. Sometimes I feel down right panicky. I had no appreciation for the level of worry that having children would produce in me. And sometimes it feels like with every new stage they get to, there are bigger and bigger things for me to be concerned about.
(I can hear how lacking my heart and mind are in gratitude and appreciation for my life - which isn't the state I want to be in)
House/Daily Life - This isn't a big issue, but I feel like there are several areas of life that I used to be on top of that I can't be while in school. Pictures of the kids, for example. I am just now uploading 2012 pictures to Snapfish to try to make a family calendar. This is something that I have done every year since before Will was born. I feel "behind" and guilty about it. I put a lot of pressure on myself to try to take and keep 'good' pictures of the kids because I want them to have those pictures when they get older - it feels like a duty I owe them to try to represent their childhoods in pictures. This might be excessive, but its how I feel. And I never take the kinds of pictures I want to take - they don't turn out well or I just get too overwhelmed and stop taking any pictures for weeks or even months at a time. I decorated the house for Christmas, which I just needed to do emotionally, but other than that, I didn't do any of my normal Christmas stuff, like take a family picture or write a Christmas letter. I have some ideas for how to do more next year without feeling too pressured at the end of the semester, but it doesn't change the fact that I let a lot go this year.
Back - my back has been hurting/sore, especially at night. I haven't been sleeping well. I'm sure its a combination of the lack of exercise and the stress, but its no fun. I do have a new raise-able desk at work, which allows me to stand and type/work so maybe my back is adjusting to that.
Steve - as I said, Steve has been amazing through most of the semester. But, I can tell that he is tired and unhappy with parts of his life. I think he is feeling insecure about his weight, which is new territory. Like myself, I think he would be happier with more physical exercise, although he is very physically active in his daily life so for him it is probably more about the type of exercise than the quantity. There is more going on, but I want to be respectful of his privacy so I won't go into it in this setting.
Age - I woke up panicked in the middle of the night a few days about with the thought that I am only 10-ish years away from being 50. This isn't an objectively 'bad' state of affairs, but in my mind and general state of panic its tied to being that much closer to death and still so far from feeling grown up. I don't know how to explain this without sounding offensive about age - its not the age so much as the fears associated with it for me. If I am this old, how old must my parents be, and how scary it is to think about them not being around forever, etc. Its that aspect that has me panicky.
Community - I still struggle with the lack of community in my daily life. It just makes me sad. I want more people, more interactions, more of a sense of belonging to something than I have. I have pockets (covenant group at church, some local friends with kids, a bit at school) but not as much as I want. This is an ever-present issue for me. I haven't been a very good friend to my CK peeps over the last several months, and this community is VERY important to me.
I told my sister when she was here for Christmas that I feel trapped by my life. As melodramatic as that sounds. Its not that I am not aware of my blessings, but when all my identities converge in this anxious way, I feel trapped. I'm a wife, mother, employee/manager, student, breadwinner, and all those things make me feel very tied down emotionally at times. So when they all produce that feeling in me, it makes me just feel so heavy. I don't want to sound petulant or spoiled - its the weight of my own sense of what those roles MEAN that make me feel trapped, not that my children or husband independently act to make me feel trapped. I told Stephie I absolutely see why people have mid life crises and totally rebel against their lives or have affairs or buy sports cars or get boob jobs.
I have some ideas for how to manage through this but I think I am going to stop writing for now. Its 4:33 am. I have a 4 hours spa session starting at 8am this morning - this is a delayed self reward for surviving the first semester of law school, and part of a birthday gift from my mother in law.
And lastly, I miss my kitties. No one has ever loved me the way my cats loved me.