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 6 & 7

I didn’t last a week. (insert image of me shrugging) Whatever. I make the challenge, and I can bend it or break it however I want. I am long past the point where I can be bothered to feel guilt for failing a self-imposed deadline.

Call it self- care. Call it laziness. Call it coming to grips with how my mind works. It truly doesn’t matter.

Friday was a long and almost difficult day. I bailed on the Wellington Cask Fest because once all was said and done, it seemed too far to go to hang around by myself. Better to come home and be with Keith and the cats.

Today was the pleasant normality of shopping, cooking, canning and baking. It has not escaped me how much I enjoy and am deeply satisfied by the activities that I mocked so thoroughly for so long.

Middle age is finding out just how wrong you were about everything.

Buh bye

Today I ended a 12-year toxic relationship. Fuck you, Facebook.

Fuck the targeted ads, the lack of privacy, the lack of care with my data, the oh-so-broad definition of the word friend, the FOMO and the bullshit.

And fuck the lack of funny cat pictures.

Routine

Every day, the shower routine is the same; start at the top and work my way down.

Shampoo the hair, rinse.

Wash the face, rinse.

Squeeze body wash on the floofy thing, wash arms (left first , left underarm then under and around the boobs, right arm, right underarm), belly, genitals, ass, down the left leg, then down the right leg. Rinse.

Same routine for drying, same order. For like the last fifteen thousand showers.

It’s not that I’ve ritualized it or made it a thing, it just seems the most efficient way. Of course, I’m sure that’s what people say who have ritualized a routine task or made it a thing.

But today I was distracted, stressed by waiting on other people, thinking about all the soon-to-happen changes and just how easy it would be for one thread to be pulled and unravel the whole damn thing (no, not really, I’m being dramatic for effect), and I washed out of order.  And then I dried out of order.

My whole day has since felt a bit…off. Different. Like a bra that got put in the dryer instead of air dried, it still fits but it’s tight in the wrong places and is a constant reminder that shit isn’t quite right in a very small and slightly irksome way.

I’m not sure I like it, but I’m sure I don’t hate it. Kinda like masturbating with the left hand instead of the right. It just feels….weird.

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.

Culture jamming

People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.

You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.

Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.

You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs. — Banksy, from Cut It Out

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.

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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.

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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.

Where I’m at today.

I’m sick (a wee bout of food poisoning thanks to eating at Swiss Chalet after swearing to never go there again after the last wee bout of food poisoning). I’m just a tad PO’d about it, as I was to go to Hamilton and help with the beer judging for the Because Beer Festival. So much for that plan.

I AM NEVER GOING TO SWISS CHALET AGAIN!

The cat’s sick. The 18-year-old feline has kidney stones, a fused arthritic spine and now hasn’t pooped in about 4 days in spite of a vet visit and 2 enemas.

And Keith is away. Lucky bugger.

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“I wish you hadn’t written that.”

Yeah, so do I.

I am taking a sabbatical from social media, again. Again. Facebook was proving once more to be a wonderful time suck that enabled me to not do the things I don’t want to do. Plus, I was getting a little too invested in three of the private groups I belong to. Time to step back (again) to breathe, write, and get shit done rather than sit with the iPad hitting refresh too many times. I’ve deleted FB and Twitter off both my mobile devices, and have resolved to check both once in the morning over coffee (I follow a lot of beer and derby groups as well as the fitness one), check but not post for a week.

We’ll see if I actually get shit done.

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One of the groups is a private group of people wanting to get fit and lose weight. The accountability of posting every day was definitely keeping me on track, so will be posting the screen shots here instead. Who knows, maybe this will morph into a fitness blog (cue hysterical laughter here).

This was yesterday:

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The top section is from MyFitnessPal that I use to track food, the bottom is from FitBit, the software that syncs to my Zip step tracker. The idea is to post this every day, with daily fitness goals. My usernames are BadKatitude on MFP and Katitude on FitBit if you want to connect on either of the sites.

I started using both daily (when possible) on June 9th. I was 93.9 kilos then (207  lbs). I weighed myself today and am at 91.2 kilos (201 lbs). Woohoo! 2.7 kilos in 3.5 weeks! AND I don’t feel achey and sore the day after a long walk and working! Pausing for a quick happy dance.

The weight goal is 85 kilos (187 lbs) to start. The real goal is to be fit enough so that I don’t throw my back out when I have to lift 25 kilo bags of malt when I go to school in September. Looking better will also be nice!

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Speaking of school, it’s flattering how many people think it’s a great idea and are supporting me. Keith is being the biggest pillar for me to lean on. That doesn’t stop me from stressing the hell out and worrying like it’s my job. I am super mondo stressed right now and was actively searching for anything that would stop me thinking about money for even ten minutes (hence the social media addiction). In spite of budgeting and hiding it in a different account where I couldn’t access it easily, my settlement from the school is now officially gone, and my EI benefits are over next week. I have two part time jobs, but they certainly don’t bring in enough for rent AND living expenses, and my hours will necessarily be reduced once I start school. Keith keeps calmly saying, “don’t worry about it, it will all be fine,” but I am who I am and my brain works the way that it works.

So I worry and lay awake at 3am with that little voice nattering in my ear.

I think I may have mentioned before how much I hate that little voice.

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So that’s me right now. My plan for the day is to wait for the Gravol to take effect, wait for the vet to call me back about the cat, shower, mail a letter*, drop the third revision of Second Career financing application off to my career counselor, Bella (who is awesome personified), take the cat to the vet, do some writing, maybe another post here, definitely a post on the beer blog (HopKat.com) and catch up on the photo-a-day blog (katitude.ca).

waiting

After all the craziness of January and February, I thought that slowing down for March would be a welcome change. The chemistry course is done, marks and portfolio have been submitted for the college application, the 4 websites for clients are either done or on track, and all blogs are caught up.

It feels weird. I’m fidgety. I’m laying in bed right now, at 11:23 on a Saturday morning, wondering what it is I should be/could be doing. I’ve been awake since 6, having taken Keith to the airport. He won’t be back until Monday night, so I don’t have him to bump around with.

I am feeling overwhelmed by waiting right now, if that can be a thing, instead of doing. Waiting for mid-March when I’ll find out if I’ve been accepted or not, waiting to find out which way my life is going to go in the short term, Plan A or Plan B/C/D. Waiting for someone, anyone to look at my resume and at least call me in for an interview. Waiting for next week. Waiting until I need to go to tonight’s derby double-header. Even waiting until I get hungry enough to drag my ass out of bed and find something to eat.

Now might be a good time to address some other projects that have been shelved; writing, editing the novel, knitting a sweater. I might even take another course, maybe the grade 12 Writers’s Craft, Canadian History or Philosophy courses.

Now might be a good time to review the referee hand signals and penalty codes for tonight.

Not would also be a good time to stop waiting and just get the fuck out of bed.

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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