Re-Evaluating Priorities

Re-evaluating priorities.  Does that equate to re-evaluating my life?  The latter feels so heavy and daunting.  Yet, so necessary and timely.  I’ve been in social services, correction..had been..for 20 plus years.  My heart is swollen a little from all the issues and problems faced, then hopefully solved.  As a young person in social services, I had so much energy, heart and soul.  Dedicated to a fault to help those disadvantaged.  Always showing up, answering calls, losing sleep, dodging insults from both parents and clients alike-All in the name of advocacy. I truly believed that then and do now.  I have everyone else’s best interest at heart first.  Guilty people pleaser.  Guilty of not knowing myself outside of work. Guilty of feeling Guilty…most of the time.

And here I am with a job well outside my “wheelhouse.”  Not social service of any kind.  Customer service, which is kinda, secretly woven into social work, is part of my new gig.  However, I find it so hard to let us “normal” folks off the hook in the same way.  When a client threw his cell phone or cussed me out, or I had to leave the environment for my safety, it made sense.  It’s not a pass for unacceptable  behavior, but a  little more understanding behind said behavior.  And maybe more room for teaching or modeling how to handle it next time.  Of course….only on a good day that sentiment could be realized.  But, for me, I could rest knowing it’s not personal. This person, client, has a disability and diagnosed impaired judgement.

That’s  a long winded segue into now. Re-evaluation.  I started applying for a county position in February.  Some great and impactful jobs, do not have any retirement incentive.  I took the highest paying job I was ever offered.  Recrited for honestly. No retirement.  Which on the face wasn’t my priority, whether I could do the job was the question. Just 3 weeks in and the job was not as promised and I was quickly working 50 hours per week.  As someone with a bipolar disorder, I feel that’s too much.  Especially at an unexpected times to fill in…later in the evenings, when I need to take medication and on weekends when rest is needed. I had to quit. My husband insisted I quit.  I knew it.  But did not want to be a quitter.

In the meantine, the county jobs I applied for started to happen. Divine intervention I think.  Hard for me to process, but let it be.  Now, I am at the county job. I do not like it.  I think I don’t like it.  Sometimes I do…mostly I don’t. Its all new, with new concepts. I’m not so good at that.

The pattern of my life, even at 47, is I’m not sure what I like or don’t like. What I’m actually good at or not.  I took a lower paying lower stress job for me. For my mental health. For my marriage. AND the damn retirement. 

In my mind, I gave up my favorite gym, I gave up meeting with my therapist weekly and just some relaxed mornings in general.  ALL IN THE NAME OF LOWER STRESS and RETIREMENT.  Any new job has stress. As a perfectionist, even more.  But, off at 5-truly.  No weekends. No making decisions for peoples lives.  That is a little refreshing.  Enter dealing with the public at large.

We live in an area where wild fires are now the norm.  Its sad and scary. So far, we are blessed and have not lost our home.  We had to flee in 2017 as we could see the fire from our front window.  But, nowhere near actually losing everything.  That, I cannot imagine.  Now, in my new position, I deal with some people that are rebuilding from a fire.  I  want to honor those people and understand their frustration being stuck in this position.  Stuck with coming to the county for assistance. I think I’m becoming that person.  Understanding systems, protocols, and how to channel calls to the correct person. That, I really like.  yet, I hate it.   Constantly asking where is my gratitude.

Where is my damn gratitude?  I have shared  before that I have Bipolar as well as alcoholism.   So, a drink seems to be the answer. I am so much better, engergetic, engaging and well… just better with alcohol in my system.  This is my disease saying all this.  “you killed it today-so customer service and handling business.” However, its not true. I miss details that are brought to my attention the next morning and I am filled with shame.  Because I am not able to focus or be present or….

Priotiies.  It feels like I had to go through that to get here.  And acknowledge, I’m struggling. I’m not super human. I tend to want to way…”im only… this new job.”  I have to re-evaluate.  It’s an important job…the first line of folks needing help. Sometimes the last line as they are finally approved for the permit they needed. Paying with glee with a credit card to get things moving in THEIR life.  I can be a vessel in that, if I let myself.  AND I can also prioritize me…I rejoined my gym.  I’m getting better sleep, and realizing I can only help when I am at my best. 

My biggest question at this point-can I put down the bottle and trust in the process?  this process called life.  Relax that I may have room to grow in this position, and into another one.  Its not all about me all the damn time.  I am blessed.  I am lucky.  I can work towards gratitude.  And in that.. it’s okay to have feelings and thoughts not always aligned with gratitude. Who can?  Probably Ghandi.  We are human.  And the struggle is truly real.  Just breathe is a mantra and  Tshirt I wear.  Today, I will breathe into this life.

Progress Not Perfection

I’ve been having a lot of conversations in my head that start with “Dear God.” Sometimes the next few words are simply please help me. Other times it has much more context, passion and emotion. I also have to admit there might be a level of desperation in the mix. Luckily, not always.

I am starting a new job on 6/1. I run the gamut of excitement to breathless anxiety when I think about it. I have gone to bed with a strong mindset that I will be a good leader and can absolutely do this job, to wake with my heart pounding full of intense fear I made the worst decision of my life. Momentarily paralyzed under the covers trying to slow the resounding beats, I start my conversation. This exact scenario happened two mornings ago, which was Saturday. It went a little something like this:

Dear God. Please help me. Please help me believe I can do this job. Please help my heart to slow and my mind to open to the possibilities. Please guide my thinking. I have an opportunity to be teachable and teach. I don’t have to be perfect on day one or ever, really. I just need to be the things I would like in a supervisor-honest, accountable, supportive, positive, team oriented, and a problem solver. Much more to be revealed I’m sure, but this is my start.

As my breathing became normal and heartbeat in a comfortable rhythm once again, I whispered out loud-thank you for listening. I stayed in bed just a little bit longer to ensure my knees wouldn’t be wobbly when my feet hit the floor. Anxiety can be so damn painful. And hidden. And at times relentless. My own mind convincing me I cannot do a job others feel I can. In fact, my old supervisor sought me out for this position. She has all the belief in me.

Why Don’t I?

I’m also trying to have this dialogue when I am not feeling in crisis. For example, when riding my bike with nature all around me I revel in gratitude. This doesn’t seem to come as naturally. Heck, if I’m honest, talking to God is relatively new for me in general. But, I think I kinda like it. Like anything in life, it ebbs and flows. I can certainly be better about it. Progress not perfection.

Ocean musings

The all mighty ocean full of unfettered strength and great truth often calls to me.  The crisp air refills my lungs and ushers my spirit anew.   Blissful sounds of crashing waves dance through my ears. The vast expanse of blue teases my eyes with boundless precision. It is here I feel safe. It is here I feel a power greater than myself.  It is here I let go. 

I seem to not allow myself to experience this simple pleasure often enough. I seem to not allow a cleansing of my soul and mind I often desperately crave. Nature is my healer. Whether it be soft sand or hard dirt of a trail, both carry me as far as I need. Both support the weight of joy or sadness, inner peace or chaos, curiosity or awe.  Though I push hard, here too I can rest. 

Yesterday, shoes off, blindly walking towards the sun there sat a glistening rock.  The shimmer so bold for something “stuck” in its place. I wondered how long this semi jagged stone withstood the elements.  My first instinct was to pick it up, maybe take it home as a keepsake.  I began to picture it on my desk. A piece of my happy place always nearby.   Yet, for some reason I stood silent and very still. The shimmer, somewhat mesmerizing, was speaking to me.  This rock wasn’t stuck.  Rather it was living life on life’s terms.  

Unbridled Love

Kings and Queens of happiness

Reign in their supreme willingness and vulnerability 

To allow another soul Into the window of self

Into the long shadow that may creep

And so soon may subside with true love

Our battles, sometimes so personal

So real and reflective of fear 

Become less if only in inches

As another holds our hand with care

Is willing to carry a conceived burden

Sees us as we believe and hold in our hearts

The measure we might have to maintain

As our shadow self also opens a window

Into you, into another 

That breathes into my love with no shame

Only sincerity



and full of brave honesty 

That will last us all our days


As the sky spits rays of light

Into a radiant soft sunset

The glow is reminiscent of sparklers

That innocently crowd a gloomy sky

In a child’s eyes the world is on fire

In an array of glitter and gold

Graffiti in the skyline

With so many stories untold

You there in the darkness

Is it me

Is it you

Shadows dance with the wind

Capturing  memories  that unfold

The last laughter we held in our belly

The last breath we both took

Into your eyes iI stare

And whisper somewhat loudly

Welcome home  my dear


In the trench of my very own destruction zone

To stubborn to say I’m on my knees

Yet all alone

secretly hoping

Someone will help me please

It’s completely my understanding

My hand must reach out

My voice must speak out

But I feel so crippled by this insidious internal shout

Down goes the booze to quell the commotion

To wrestle away the evil of emotion

This is the promise of the disingenuous potion

Which continuously tugs at my devotion

So just put it down you say

Then perhaps it can begin to be okay

Perhaps there truly is another way

To rebound and reconnect to your soul

Move past transgressions and things untold

Lay down the wall you hide behind

Come out of isolation and

Believe in life and self again

What more do you have to lose?

The Slow Creep

Depression has found its way into my veins, sucking me dry of energy, desire and any level of care about anything.  Seems it was seeping as I was avoiding the reality of its claws.  I showed up at work, though stared through my computer screen without a wink.  I stood at the kitchen sink cutting vegetables envisioning the knife slicing my wrist..also without a wink.  Drove my car day to day without memory of where I started or half interested in where I was going.  Just driving I guess.

All the while I keep up that disguise. The armor of strength that is seen on the outside.  The business smile that carries me through. Until it doesn’t.  The bottle then becomes my answer.  Some juice to fuel this tired almost dead body and mind. At first it does just that.  Allows bigger smiles, a bit of a laugh, a step out the door.  But only that lasts so long.  Soon, again, I’m at the bottom of the pit.  No smiles, energy, gumption or desire.  Sleep is my only quest.  But my heart beats so fast and so hard my eyes cannot close.  My world begins to spin. Relief is not found.  Thoughts maybe death is a better option begin to emerge.  How can I easily make this happen?

I suppose it can’t or won’t be easy.  Im rather tired anyway.  But, those thoughts aren’t going away.  The creeper of depression is in full force. It has barged its way in. At first I fought. I fought hard.  But now, I’m almost at surrender.   For today I hope to sleep. No more fighting .  Hoping for a long moment of peace.



Somehow Lost

I have found myself lost. So fast. So alone.  The streets are dark.  Those negative thoughts a looming balloon.  The burst so painful.  The threshold once at its peak has fallen so low.  The blanket of cold air follows me everywhere.  My breath incessantly shallow. My heartbeat to callous to allow any love. Any comfort.  How to move on. How to insist I belong.  A knock at the door. A ring of the bell.  How do I sound my need to tell. The secrets. The lies.  I have the need to believe they protect from tears, and forever hide sadness in my eyes. I conjur the sparkle just enough.  The tough exterior that carries my bluff. I play the music louder and gather my scruff.  Alone is easier as I gauge my strut.  Strong. Yet not. If the truth be told and I am this scary lonesome rut.  Falling.  Falling.  And lost.

Forever at the Crossroads

Sometimes I hover at the intersection

Of life and death
Not certain of which to choose
As the world callously speeds by
I feel lost and alone
Susceptible to those thoughts
Those harmful suggestions
I’m never really sure are my own
Ambiguity at the crossroads
Is not unique to me
I am under no grand illusion
It absolves the collective we
The insidious pain I harbor
Beneath the cloak of perfection
Beneath the fear of rejection
Only perpetuates my isolation
Keeps me from the junction
That might lead you to me

Is there still Magic

How often do you make time for the magic? A better question, selfishly, is can and do I make room for the magic. My husband bought me a beautiful bike for our anniversary. He often jokes other wives might ask for diamonds, but I wanted a nice sturdy bicycle to take me around. Probably to take me outside of the landmine that is my mind. Its sleek. Dark gray and fast. Fast like me. Fast like my thoughts. Fast like my moods sometimes. I even track my speed and distance on an Excel file. Physically I am always trying to do better. Can I beat my last time? And then, what does it really matter.

I have taken a new job. Not my first choice, but one I obviously applied for. In this electronic and digital age, job postings appear on my phone while I sleep. Dutifully I went to the coffee shop to apply for various positions. I am approaching 45 and trying to make a career change. I am a social worker at heart and on paper. However, I am ready to sow some new career Oats. The job market seems to disagree with me. Application after application. Trying so hard to create, with sincerity, the best damn cover letter imaginable. You need this…check. Yep…super personable. Diligent..double check. I am your Go Too Gal.

I fancy myself a professional. I passed a county test and got invited to an Interview. Must of surpassed at least 20 folks to get this far. The Court system has been a silent interest of mine. I have some experience within the walls of a court room as an advocate for my clients. It feels like a nice fit more me. New…but also pulling in my social works skills. I put on a shiny dress. Answered key questions and waited.I didn’t get the job. I didn’t even get 2nd round interviews. I was devastated. Naively. Possibly. Probably.

This new job. I hope to be the best. I hope I can bring new life. New Skills. New energy. As I await the start date…

I was riding my beautiful bike along the river. For the first time, in a long time, I wasn’t trying to beat a clock. I wasn’t trying to Outdo myself. I wasn’t battling the everpresent voices in my mind. The ones that hang and lure like a lantern. Innocent, but deadly. I made my way up and down the river bank in peace. Breath seamless. Stride powerful. Sunshine guiding me.

As the bike path ended and gave way to city streets, feeling grateful and at peace, I saw the woman I am to replace. She had on a beautiful sunhat, seemingly also at peace, as she entered the Farmers Market. She seemed to disappear into the landscape. As she crossed, I felt a sense that it was right. I am in the right place.

It was magic.