Project Dreamcatcher: Summation

It’s been almost three weeks since I last posted, and even longer since I shared a specifically Project Dreamcatcher post, but I’ll call it a success.

My original goal was to feel better about myself. One of the steps I planned to take was to list the things that I didn’t feel so good about and change those, but the problem I ran into there was that most of the things I came up with weren’t exactly things that could be changed with a snap of my fingers, or even a lot of hard work. So I decided to go a bit easier on myself, and that has been helping.

But the one thing that bothered me the most was feeling lonely and left out. Feeling like I didn’t fit in. And yeah, I still have that; that’s not going to go away, right? Doesn’t everyone have those moments or days? It doesn’t bother me as much anymore.

I have to say a big part of that came from going back to work, because while I haven’t been technically unemployed for years and years, I’ve been underemployed for the past three. Yes, my teeny tiny paychecks have been enough to keep us afloat on top of Ian’s pay, but only working two hours a week does not a feeling of contribution make.

I went back to the quick service restaurant management that I had loved so much in the past, and it feels good. It feels really good. A lot of that I can attribute to changes in myself, in my own outlook and aspirations. No longer do I want my own store, no longer do I want to impress the higher-ups with my mad cost-controlling profit-making skills. Those skills are still there, but I’m only focusing on my shift, and the numbers for a single day at a time. I (and said higher-ups) can see by doing so I’m still improving for the week and for the period, but I can leave work at work. If I’m off, it doesn’t matter if they stick to the schedule or let food go to waste. It’s not my fault, and I don’t have to take responsibility for that. It happens. I said that before, but now I know I really mean it.

I focus on one thing at a time. One pizza, one phone call, one shift. What’s funny is that our new customer service model supports that and enables me to do so even better. I wonder how many of my customers would believe it, but I really am happy to take their order. I’m happy to talk to them when something went wrong. I’m happy to take care of that problem in a way that makes them happy.

I started a post probably a year ago about how I need to do something that involves helping people. I went on to talk about a leadership class Ian and I attended where the instructor asked how many of us saw our job as helping people, and how I was the only one who raised a hand. It’s obvious to me because I look for it, but no one else there considered making someone’s dinner as helpful. Really, who doesn’t appreciate not having to worry about how they’re going to get dinner on the table once in a while?

Of course, now I spend a lot more time worrying about getting dinner on the table, but we’re still settling into our new routine here. We’ll get it down, and I’ll be able to go back to meal planning and eking out time to blog.

Much of the uselessness and separateness I felt came from anger; there was no way in hell I was going to go back to work and let Ian stay home and my money pay his child support. But Ian loves his job, and right now, we have it worked out fine, where neither of us has to stay home or miss out on too much family time. But I have to admit, it was harder than I thought it would be. Yes, I have scoffed at the moms going back to work, frantic over their precious babes eating and sleeping and crying without them; but my first Monday night closing I realized Abby had never once gone to sleep at our house without me there. Ian called and I told her good night, and then I cried. And I cried over it again twenty minutes later. But now it’s almost old hat. Just this week, when I came in after work to give her a hug and a kiss, all she had to sleepily say was ‘you smell like pizza.’

The final thing I have to work on: feelings of guilt for being tired or sick. I sleep better during the day. That’s just a fact of life for me. Most nights, I feel like I’m never quite asleep, but late mornings and afternoons, I’m dead to the world. If there’s no changing that, I have to deal with it somehow. We’ll see how my sleep study goes, and my followup for that.

And then we’ll live happily ever after.

For a little while.

But feeling better for longer.


Project Dreamcatcher: Week Four

Having done the have dones

Well, my board game idea turned into an art of its own. More of a work-in-progress.

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It really is squarer than it looks, I promise! But without further ado, my Have Dones:

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More of a have done/skill set collage, actually. What are these things, you may ask? Wonder no more.

  1. A shirt because I learned to sew.
  2. A gift because I have had and continue to have giveaways here.
  3. A book because I published one.
  4. A brush because I do good hair.
  5. A ribbon because I am a participant in Project Dreamcatcher.
  6. A paintbrush because I am an artist.
  7. Numbers because I can plus and times real good.
  8. A ring because I am a wife.
  9. A glass because I drink plenty of water.
  10. Money because I do our taxes every year–self-employment is a hassle and a half at tax time, y’all!
  11. A pizza because I made a large pepperoni in less than 30 seconds.
  12. A nail polish bottle because I love to design my nails.
  13. Cookies because I made some awesome snickerdoodles this week.
  14. A pencil because I am a writer. And I love to hand write.

Deadline met! Not that I’m worrying about it or anything.

Don’t forget, Kindle version of Minotaur for free this weekend! Get to downloading!


Project Dreamcatcher: Week Three

It’s time to set some deadlines. I will now absolutely put out of my mind all the deadlines that I let pass by this year. 

In week two, I listed the steps I’m going to take. 

  1. Happy Things: Yup, already flaked on this one, but I made up for it, see? In my defense, I have no reason to keep up with the date, so June 20 and my second installment passed me by with not a shred of recognition. 
  2. ‘Have Done’ collage: I’ll have that done, hanging up, and shared here by next Saturday, June 29. 
  3. List the things about myself that I’m not happy with: I’ll have that done and shared by June 30. 
  4. Prioritize said list: I’ll choose the top two when I finish the list, then prioritize the remainder by July 7.
  5. Work on items one by one: after prioritization, I’ll be able to look at my list and know what will need more time than others, and delegate accordingly. This will necessitate a certain flexibility that will definitely be on the list. I suck at flexibility. 
  6. Starting right this very minute, I will not worry about sticking to this schedule without fail. I already kicked myself for the Happy Things slip-up, so I’m done. Done, I tell you!
  7. And throwing another one in there, I’ll finish my novel Golem by October 1, giving me a month for editing and cover before NaNoWriMo 2013–in which I will make it a trilogy, yay! Cue freak-out. 

In Gear

That’s where my butt needs to be.

My vision board of ‘have dones’ is a work in progress.

20130620-210816.jpgWell, kind of? I have this board game-esque idea in my head, so there’s a myriad of foam board squares on my desk, waiting for their permanent home. I was thinking it might be wise to write out a list of ‘have dones’ before I got to gluing and painting. Maybe. More on that tomorrow, when I share my Project Dreamcatcher deadlines.

My seamripper and I spent half an hour that felt like an eternity deconstructing a salvaged dress, and I’m left with this yellow flowery pile of sheer fabric.

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I was thinking scarf, but the skirt had more panels than I realized, so it’d be a lot of piecing. Then I thought headband, but I have a head that won’t hold an elastic headband. Maybe bows or flowers on hairclips. Or a bracelet. Or several. What do you think, shall I have a fluffy sheer fabric bracelet giveaway this month? Let’s do.

And then there’s my sequel. I should really get on that. So, to encourage myself, the Kindle version of my debut novel Minotaur will be available for free next weekend, June 28-June 30.

BookCoverImageGet your copy! Enjoy it! Come back and demand that I finish writing the next one! Don’t worry, I’ll remind you again.

So you see, lots of stuff. Into gear this butt must get, as soon as I hit publish.


Project Dreamcatcher: Week Two

This week the devil’s in the details: our assignment is to define our steps.

This video is about using video games as a model for goal-setting, and what jjiraffe says about ‘have dones’ in her week two post really clicked with me.

I’ve never played Candy Crush, but I can transfer her analogy to another game, like Culdcept.

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I don’t know how many dozens or hundreds of hours I’ve spent playing this game, but it’s a lot. I beat the game, but that wasn’t enough. I had to get all the cards, I had to get all the medals. There’s a cheat code for the medals, but that’s cheating. It doesn’t mean anything when you didn’t have to do anything to get there. And you know what? I still haven’t gotten all the medals. I do have all 500-ish cards.

In the game, both of these are beautiful pictorials of ‘have dones.’ Even before collecting all the cards, it was very satisfying to scroll through my collection and see the number of blank spaces diminishing. And that is encouraging. And yes, I was anal retentive enough to have a notebook listing the medals I hadn’t received yet, along with a brief description so I’d know the requirements for each. It was awfully nice to be able to cross them out.

And so the first step I’ll define will be to make a ‘have done’ collage, a physical reminder of all the great things that I have done. Something I can see and say to myself, ‘look what I did, look at all these things I have to be proud of.’ A vision board of past achievements. And I’ll put it up…um, somewhere. We don’t have much wall available.

20130614-203229.jpgBut at least we have eclecticism on our side. Is that even a word? It definitely describes the wall above my desk, anyway.

Second, I will list the things about myself of which I am so critical. How do I know what I need to feel better about when I don’t know what I consider bad?

Third, I will prioritize said list. And I will work on items one by one, because I know that’s what will work best for me.


Happy Things, part 1

As promised, the first of three lists of ten things that make me feel good. Right up there at the top between radishes and timeline.