Thursday, August 25, 2011

Counsellor a physical job?

I'm not sure how my job has become so physically taxing. I listen to people for a living. I facilitate groups, which in and of itself is not physically taxing. It can be emotionally draining. Peoples' process can get deep, heavy and serious. And that itself is tiring. It stretches the soul.
This past week we've taken our guys to a lake/camp. I didn't even drive there. I got out of the daily drive for my shift by coming clean with not being able to drive on major highways without O2. I just wouldn't have enough O2 for the drive there and back on my little refill tanks. So, I went with my boss for the day shift - which meant I needed to not "sit around". Shit, even walking slowly outside for more than 15 minutes is something I can't do. So when did physical stamina become part of the job description?

Last month I applied to an agency closer to me - one that's also unionized and funded in part by some government agency. I did not even get a call-back. That was odd.
I am not sure what I'm going to do with this work - I can't just quit working altogether since we now have an even bigger mortgage than before (with this new bungalow). Yes, la femme can carry it on her own, but I'm not like that. I've been the type of person to have a few ongoing contracts, most of the time. Besides, we have a lot of expenses just with this new house. We're the type of people that don't like debt. I've payed my car mostly upfront. (These modern-day "don't pay a cent..." is unwise).

I'm exhausted. So much so that I'm seriously thinking of walking away from my college teaching (also done on the side). If I walk away this semester, just to take a break, they will never call me back. (No one else teaches what I teach, so it would really screw them). I know how they work there. I'm not sure I'm ready to cut ties with higher education forever - but I'm not sure I can do it anymore. I never wanted to be that woman (with the heart condition) in Beaches that sat on the beach, all frail & dressed in white, watching people involved in life (but not actually participating). Yet all I long for lately is that lawn chair to relax.

I'm tired, feeling weak and have hit my wall - when it comes to packing. I can't do it anymore alone. La femme has been a big help, but she's got her own house to pack and is currently very occupied with that - as she should be. That leaves me coming home to a never-ending pile of stuff that needs to be boxed, boxes needing to be moved, etc. etc. This is exactly why I did not want to move. All of the physical work. I need some time off work and I won't actually get any until the end of September (with the exception of labour day).


Saturday, August 20, 2011

My house, the manor

I currently live on a street that starts with M, so for the past 4.5 years this house has been dubbed the Mxoxox-manor. Well, the manor is being moved - or at least it's contents.

It's gone through so much in 4.5 years since my wife and I bought it. It's seen separations, death, fun, dinner parties, friends, break up/divorce and new love. It's witnessed a tranformation of energy from love to anger to love again (all for the same person). It's seen some lows, very lows, and some highs, oh so delicous highs. As I took a break from packing this week I realized that next week it will mark a year since I met la femme. My life is completely renverser (backwards/upside down) and that's totally ok because for the first time in a long time it feels right side up. I think back a year ago and life was about getting through - stretching the time in this house as long as possible. Well, I'm defeated to the stairs, and as a result in a matter of a few weeks we'll be buzzing around our new bungalow - together. No more commuting (mainly on her part). Now to find a workplace with no stairs (my office is in the basement) or to consider cutting work out. It's not something I want to do - we have way too many expenses with the new house, but I've also not felt strong - as in, I feel weaker and weaker and I know it's not just the heat of summer because there's been no intense heat/humidity. I know this is a new norm - something I'm not quite prepared to face. Something that's starting to affect my job. We had some pretty intense days lately and my heart felt too weak to deal with (my clients') rage at work. (It's after that day I called in sick).

Saying goodbye to this house is bitter sweet. There's so much beauty here. The trees we planted 3 years ago that I never thought I'd see grow. Well some of them are as tall as me now. It's wonderful to see. Sad, but wonderful. I have sadness when I think about starting over in a new garden and not being able to see the new trees grow. My mom already bought me a house-warming gift: one of my favourite trees - the (false) nootka. It's a drippy-everygreen cedar type west-coast tree. They remind me of souls with droopy arms. I want to see that thing grow. I'm actually looking forward to my next cardio apt. because I want to see if cardio-man is ready to put me on the heart drug that costs upwards 7k a month. Not looking forward to that, but feeling like I need something to slow the weakening of my heart. If the lung-drugs bought me 2 years, maybe those will buy me 2 more. I know full well that the less I do (work, lifting, physical) the "longer" I'll stick around. That's hard for a stubborn ox like myself.

I'm also excited, to be starting a whole new life (whatever it's length) with la femme. Her best-friend (ex-spouse) told me once, that it would take someone awfully special for her to sell her house (her safety/security). Well, we get keys to 'our house' in 12 days. Guess I'm that special ;) but I'm also that happy. I won't pretend that we haven't had a few downs on the roller-coaster ride but when I think about the slow, solid base that we started, I feel overwhelmingly blessed. All the work I did last year (and continued, but at a slower pace this year) really did allow love to blossom again. Who is that lucky, to have 2 great loves in one lifetime!

catching up

Gawd this is the first quiet moment I've had in weeks. That's not to say I haven't been pondering a lot. I've had many reflections and entries waiting in my head but when they pop in I'm usually on the main floor of my house packing (or taking a break from packing) and running up stairs is the last thing I have excess energy to do.

At work I've been pushing myself - I'm so wanting a break that I called in sick yesterday. I came home to a smelly house. A turpentine like substance had been used by the handy-man to clean off old paint stains on the floor. It made me dizzy, so dizzy I decided, screw this, I'm not going to work tomorrow. So I got picked up and hid out at la femme francaise's house past the burbs. I watched cable -tv all day and went for a walk (she had another home-visit from a potential buyer). I needed to just get away from work - except my 4 day visit to Manitoulin Island, I haven't had a summer vacation and I won't have one. Packing my house is taking all of my time. I decided to book a week off at the end of September since La femme is invasive surgery on our one year anniversary (of being officially together). I will take that time to care for her (all on one floor!!), sew our wedding dresses, attend High Holiday services, rest, unpack (maybe) and prep my course since I teach this coming semester.

I am really over-taxing myself: downsizing & moving, wedding, teaching, partner's surgery. I'm sure there's more but I'm tired just thinking about it. We thought about not having the wedding, but we don't want to spend time not married - even if it's as low-key as done in her hospital bed, we just want to be together. I would rather not teach any more, but it's something I've always done and hard to say no to habit. Surgery can't be put off any longer, since it was supposed to take place in early summer but we were looking for homes then. And the packing - the reason I stayed in this house for much longer than I thought: moving is tiring for any healthy person, throw in heart-failure and well, let's just say I got out of breath rifling through the camping gear to find cord today. Ugh. But I've gotta go - I've known this for a long while. I've gotta go before those stairs get the better of me.