It was fun while it lasted, but it’s over.

It’s been four weeks since… since what? I’m not even sure what to call this. The language for this life event seems inadequate.

I wasn’t fired, I was assured that it wasn’t me, I was doing a good job. I know this. Not laid off either as I’m sure there is no intention to hire me back, Let go? Don’t like that phrase, as it implies they where holding on in the first place. It seems a bit passive anyway. Employment terminated is very cold and clinical. There are joke-y terms: the old heaved-ho, the bums rush, given my walking papers. I don’t feel like joking right now. I’ve been saying FUNemployment but really, there is nothing fun about it. The one I especially dislike is “lost my job”.

I didn’t lose my job. I know exactly where it is. Someone else is doing it.

There was a word the CEO kept saying like it was an explanation as he walked me from the brew house to the room where the HR person waited: restructuring. I don’t much like that word either, but I guess it works better than anything else.

I am the victim of Side Launch’s restructuring.

No, I don’t know what it means. No, I wasn’t the only one let go that day. Yes, they made the other brewer, the head brewer, a victim of restructuring too. Yes, they gave me a good severance package, a generous one. Yes, I was assured it’s just business. And no, I don’t know anymore than that. Yes, I have theories, but they are just that; you can draw your own conclusions.

And no, I am not ok in general. I am sometimes ok-ish though.

It’s a pretty paradoxical time actually. I’ve been good. I’ve been not so good. I’ve been OK. I’ve been terrible. I understand that it’s just business. I wondered what I did wrong (nothing). I’ve been resentful af. I’ve felt resigned. I felt hopeful. I’ve been scared I will not find another job in my field. I’m confident I will. I feel strong and capable. I’ve felt ike I’m going to shatter into a million pieces. I want to stay active and busy, finding things to occupy my time – a part time job, volunteering, knitting, visiting. I also want to crawl under the covers and come out a few days later blotchy and tear-stained. I hope that the powers that be at Side Launch know what they’re doing and the company will be successful for the sake of my friends who still work there. But there’s a small dark part of my heart where the hope is that they founder and fail. I am grateful for my time there and would not trade the experience of the last two years for anything. I also kinda wish I’d taken the other job that was offered to me at the time. I’ve had people I barely know reach out and offer my sympathy and support. I’ve had close friends I love go radio silent (it’s ok; I don’t know what to say to me either). I want to use this time to reach out and connect with people. But I can’t seem to pick up the phone. I want to write because I know I will feel better if I do. Alas, even five minutes of free writing is a struggle. It’s taken me five tries to finish this bloody blog post.

There are three things I have been most grateful for over the last four weeks. First and foremost is Keith. He’s not a demonstrative man and needs to be reminded to hold me when I’m anxious, but he loves me and supports me. He reassures me we’re going to be fine, and proves it by being the same as he always is. He’s not letting me wallow, and is good with making tea and tea cookies and self care suggestions.

Second: I am very grateful for my communities. My beer network has been full of hugs and well wishes, suggestions and job leads. My friends and neighbours have been wonderful with texts and coffee visits and casual dinners filled with candlelight and laughter. Everyone has shit going on in their life, and I appreciate any time spent on helping me deal with this big shit in mine atm.

Lastly, I am grateful to my past self. I’d hate to think what the last four weeks would have looked like if I hadn’t made a commitment last March to look after my mental health. I am not ashamed to say that I have seen a psychiatrist this year, and as a result take citalopram to dial back the panic, the anxiety and anger to liveable levels. I can feel the anxiety now, every waking moment, especially at night when the over-thinking makes sleep hard to find. But I can keep a lid on it.

And that’s not nothing, as a friend would say.


Let me preface this part by saying I’m not a huuuuge believer in the tarot. I think it gets it wrong as much as right, and some spend a lot of thought into shoehorning the wrong readings into their situation. But I like the symbolism of the cards, and feel that often you can pull something relevant for yourself, even if it’s only inspiration for some fiction free writing. I just got a deck I quite like, the Modern Witch Tarot, which is the old Rider-Waite deck with a female-centric modern twist.

I was shuffling and breaking in the new deck on the second or third sleepless night, thinking about my new employment status when this card flipped over:

Everything is Fine

It seemed so apropos for the moment, I had to laugh.

It’s now three+weeks past that, and I’ve been in a bit of daze. I’ve been productive, but also vague and distant and feeling not-quite-here. The anger has faded somewhat, and left a heaviness, a depression in it’s place. I don’t like this stage, and woke up feeling like it’s time to get active and work on getting past it. To all those who are now saying, don’t rush it, feel the feels, I say sshhhhh. I want to see the small delights again.

I pulled a card today for shits and giggles. Again, it seems to fit the moment.

Excelsior, my dad would say, onward and upward.

Day 14

It’s Saturday, one without Keith. I kind of like those days. Not that I don’t love days with him, we both also love our separate days.

I did laundry. Thats about the only thing I’ve crossed off my to-do list so far. Unfortunately, knitting in front of Netflix and picnicking by the Beaver River was not on the to-do list. I did them anyway. When you are given a sunny and warm-ish day off, you take advantage of it. The rest can wait until later.

I was really hoping for a warmer spell as I would love to go for one final swim in the river. That does not look like it’s going to happen. The first swim next summer is going to feel really good.

But for now I’m sitting in the sunshine, holding down the hammock in the wind and writing. The air is filed with the sound of the wind in the trees, and a cricket chirping to me from the fire pit. It’s punctuated by tractors filled with rolls of hay and the odd motorcycle out for a ride.

I feel bad that I don’t feel worse about not riding much this summer. I spent a lot of money on insurance for the BMW to just sit in the garage most of the time. Finally talked to Keith about selling it and getting something that is more me, more fun. Something lower to the ground that won’t make me so anxious about falling over. I was surprised by how much I wanted that bike that our neighbour sold for Don’s wife. Or maybe I should’t be.

Day 13

It’s Friday the 13th. And a full moon. Once upon a long time ago those facts would have meant something to me. Now it’s just a Friday.

It was a CIP day, and I felt on top of things for the first time all week. Thing got cleaned, things got put away, malt got milled. SS DD.

Highlight of the night was the poser going out during a long thunderstorm. It gets really fucking dark out where when that happens. Got the flashlight, lit the candles, and had just realized that it was too dark to read or knit when it came back on.

Jesus, my Friday nights are super thrilling.

Day 11

Hey, thanks Google Photos for reminding that I had the worst (IMHO) interview in my life two years ago today. (Yes, I know bigger things happened on September 11, but not to me and not in my country. Forgive me if I’ve moved on.)

I’d had other offers, but this was the one I wanted, the job that would be best for both Keith and I. I was so sure I had blown it, that I drove to the Collingwood Terminals, stared at the bay and cried for a half hour.

I got home and sent the thank-you-for-your-time email, and proceeded to wait. I’m not sure exactly what happened between then and getting an offer other than getting an update from Robin, but I remember it being long and rollercoaster-ish…just looked back at Google and it was a month+.

It feels odd that it’s been only two years; it feels like it should be longer. The changes in our lives have been huge: urban to rural; renter to homeowner; getting by to happy. there were crappy moments like Keith feeling that this was never going to be home, my anxiety ramping up, the lack of friends, the speed at which I feel off the radar. But the joys are frequent, from small ones like watching birds at the feeder and eating a tomato out of our garden to having the pleasure of watching our relationship grow stronger.

It’s a good life.

What serves me

The yoga instructor said, “Let go of that which does not serve you.”

I have been having a rough time lately, for reasons that I cannot pin down. I have a great job with people I like and I am living in my dream house in my dream location. And yet, I feel disconnected. And emotional as fuck.

I’m finding it hard to get a balance in my post-menopausal moods. So hard that apparently I can’t find the words for it right now. I feel like some of it still concussion-related, but what do I know?

“You need to write more,” said a woman I work with. She is so very smart; I adore her immensely. And yet I have snapped at her, made mountains out of molehills, and generally made an ass of myself. Thankfully she is a better woman than I, and sweetly accepted my tearful apologies.

So I am going to write more. And I am going to get rid of that which does not serve me. I’ve deleted everything off of Twitter (I can’t bring myself to delete my account and give up my name yet…I should though), purged so much from Facebook (gone are the Toronto people, breweries, concert venues and bars that are make me homesick for a place I haven’t even liked in the last 5 years), and made some lists. I’m going to yoga again tomorrow. And looking for a local doctor. And a therapist.

I need to get my shit together.

possibilities

sept2Have you ever wanted something so much, that the desire was a taste in your mouth, like a cross between the best thing you’ve ever eaten and the worst?

Have you ever wanted something so much, that the very thought of it made butterflies the size of elephants gallop around your stomach, made you tremble with the excitement of the possibilities?

Have you ever wanted something so much, that you were afraid to even speak its name for fear of attracting the notice of some capricious god?

Have you ever wanted something so much, that the want kept you from sleeping, kept you tossing and turning until the sheets tangled around your legs and your beloved mumbled sleepily at you to please be still?

Have you ever wanted something so much, that you replayed every morsel of conversation in your head, wondering why in hell you said that or that or that, and hoping you didn’t fuck it up?

Have you ever wanted something so much, that you had to squash the feeling, to try and not want it, because experience has taught you that should it not come to pass, the disappointment will be hard to bear?

Have you ever wanted something so much, that you were tempted to pray to gods you don’t believe in, in the hopes that it might tip the scales in your favour?

No?

Me neither.

Day 19,108

I just can’t help but feel that my day would go so much better if I could just get out of my bathrobe, shower and get things done. Here’s hoping I manage it in the next hour or so, since I have to be at work 4.

Somehow, I don’t think fuzzy red bathrobe is part of Bulk Barn’s dress code.

*******************

I watched a trailer for 20,000 Days on Earth, a documentary with Nick Cave, and it got me thinking, how old am I days? Hence the title.

And FYI, I’ll be 20,000 days old on January 1, 2017. I think that might be a good day for a big party.

*******************

I know, I know. I haven’t posted the fitness things for a while. I went great guns for a month, lost 10 lbs, then the enthusiasm waned. I have to rekindle it, as I would really like to be below 190 by the time I go to school in just over 5 weeks.

5 weeks. Fuck.

catching up

Yes, I did get in to the Brewmaster Program at Niagara College. And yes, I’ve almost got my Second Career application ready to send off to see if I can get any help to pay for it. Accommodations and transportation have been sorted out. I’ll be renting a room from our pal Moose during the week and commuting with our old car (Keith bought a newer Mazda 3 for him to use). I’m kinda looking forward to being back in the place I grew up – Moose’s house is about 2 concessions away from my old high school. Plus his backyard has a hammock and a firepit, so what’s not to like?

2014-06-04 12.25.38
Moose’s backyard in early spring. Looks much greener now.

I have a new blog, this time one related to all things beer-y. It was called Goodale and Beer, but I have forsaken that for the much snappier Hop Kat. For anyone still counting, this brings the total number of blogs started since 2005 up to 9, with three still being active: HopKat (beer), Katitude (photo-a-day), and this one.

I’m working part time now at the Bulk Barn. I was given a promotion and a raise after about 3 weeks, and am  now a cashier supervisor. It’s close enough to walk to, so between walking there and back, and being on my feet for most of a 6-hour shift, I’m over my 10,000 step fitness goal every day that I work. I come home smelling of candy and spices, which is not nearly as nice you would think it would be.

I’ve signed up to take the Fresh Meat skating course again through Toronto Roller derby. This is the third time. I have informed The Knee that I will be finishing it this time whether it likes it or not. It replied by pointing out that I will need to get my ass off the couch and away from Netflix if I want this to happen. I am taking its advice as I wish to keep walking when I get old(er).

The motorcycle is uncovered and I’ve been out on it a few times. I’m noticing that the anxiety and borderline panic is returning. Awesome.

Putting together my summer list for 2014. There’s lots to do. I would really like it if “worrying about money” didn’t make it on the list, but I fear that’s the only given.

Overall, life is good. There are flies in the ointment, but when isn’t there?

 

Get Shit Done Day

Running solo for the next few days as Keith is travelling with Colm Wilkinson. Am a bit at odds wit myself, and am now entering day 5 of this funk that has me alternating between feelings of dread, being on the edge of tears and being in utter denial that anything is wrong at all (N0, really, I’m fine. Really). I laid in bed last night and as my mind started going down the paths that lead to anxiety (again) I decided to throw some money at the problem and take myself out on a date. I was going to make Wednesday Get Shit Done In the Morning and Then Go Downtown to See The Bowie Exhibit At The AGO Again and Then Go To The Ballet Day.  And then I slept as well as anyone could after eating chocolate just before bed (d’oh!).

Thought about it this morning though, and have decided to break that into two days. Today will be Get Shit Done Day. Get ALL The Shit Done Day to be precise. That way I can get the most out of tomorrow’s Go Downtown to See The Bowie Exhibit At The AGO and Then Go To The Ballet Day without anything hanging over my head.

Shit that I will get done today (in no particular order):

  1. finish sock monkey hat for my niece’s birthday. Finished, 11:09
  2. make slouch bag like this one in the sock monkey fabric for niece’s birthday Finished 1:36
  3. wrap sock monkey hat & slouch bag & package for shipping to Calgary. Finished 2:50
  4. package 2 pairs of Dr Who fingerless mitts for shipping to Rochester MN. Finished 2:50
  5. go to post office across the street and mail packages to Calgary & Rochester. Finished 2:50
  6. sew replacement buttons on grey winter coat. Finished at 4:50
  7. update LinkedIn profile. I had someone awesome write up my summary that I was having so much trouble with. Now it’s time to actually get it on there! Finished 6:18
  8. take and upload photo-a-day photo. Finished at 5:45
  9. write about Monday’s final beer class for beer blog Finished at 8:10: http://goodaleandbeer.com/?p=164
  10. watch movie & drink a beer for Beer and a Movie section on beer blog
  11. write about movie and beer on beer blog
  12. follow up with TDSB re: if they can move up the date of the exam so I can get my marks in to  Niagara College in time.
  13. do a bit of a sweep and clean. Done sort of at 3:10, enough so I’m saying it’s done. It’ll have to be done again though before Keith gets home.
  14. start silk mohair lace scarf thank you gift. Started at 8:30
  15. cook up next home brew – Mocha Stout from True Brews (this might not happen. It’s time consuming, and I want to get the rest of stuff done first)
  16. sign up for and play tonight’s Buddy Dank home game on Poker Stars Signed up at noon. Definitely playing by 10!

Hitting Publish now, at 10:13 am. I’m ready to get crackin’.

Proof:

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