Relief Attack

Last night, at 2am, I woke up feeling a bit uneasy. At first I thought I was feeling sick from the Chinese, but I quickly realised that it was worse than that. It was a panic attack.

I felt my left arm go tingly and then my right, and then a wave of panic rolled up my back and over my head. I could feel it gripping my brain. It’s cold fingers just biting in to me. It is the worst feeling in the world.

I have previously seen a therapist to help me figure out what my issues are, so that I can prep myself to deal. And in the cases where one just sneaks up on me, I have techniques I can try to help over come the attack.

So, at first I stayed in bed, admittedly curled up in the foetal position, and started my favourite technique. They are all variations of the same thing, ways to slow my breathing down, to stop me from hyperventilating, thus in turn stopping adrenaline pumping through my body, lowering my level of panic, and voila! Well thats how it is supposed to work. My favourite technique is the 1,2,3,4 – basically you take short sharp breaths in, 1, 2, 3, 4, hold the last one for a fraction longer, and then let it out in short sharp breaths 1, 2, 3, 4.

After a few minutes of this, it didn’t appear to be working. So I moved on to the next one, which is essentially breathing in and out, into a paper bag. But I don’t just carry paper bags around, my therapist said that I can cup my hands around my mouth and it will accomplish the same thing. The point to this one is that when you hyperventilate, you end up with too much oxygen in your system. By cupping your hands and “breathing back in your own air” you are increasing your carbon dioxide levels, lowering your ability to want/need to hyperventilate, again reducing adrenaline, and thus the panic.

This was starting to work, but then everything escalated and I ended up running to the bathroom to throw up. At this stage hubby knew something was up (I normally tell him if something is wrong straight away, because the very BEST way for me to deal is to talk it out and come up with solutions), he came and saw me in the bathroom, and without even a word, went and got me my ice pack, wrapped in a towel, a glass of water and a wet face clothe and then sat with me, not touching me because he knows I already feel way to hot, and just gave me his support. I love this man. He is the best I could have asked for.

We eventually went back to bed, I barely slept, cuddling my ice pack and holding his hand. I was coming up with ways to call in sick, but the entire time I knew it wasn’t possible. Yesterday was my first day! But this is what it does to do, it makes you too scared to move, to go forward. Yesterday was amazing. I really can see myself staying there for years! The people are fantastic and they are all passionate about what they do. And yet, I had a sneaky panic attack creep up on me while I was sleeping.

I think it was a “relief” attack, rather than panic. The whole process of getting the job was only about 5 weeks, but I wanted it so desperately, that I just lived semi nervous all day. Now that the first day was over, I had some anxiety that needed release. Because I am choosing to think of this as a relief attack, I am going about my day as normal (except for this post, I normally write at night), I got up, went for my walk gave my pets their morning treat, showered, dressed and now I am writing this.

I needed to get this out of me. And I needed to share it. I honestly believe in relief attacks. I had one during the reception of my wedding, all that planning, for over a year, the colours, the designs, the decorations. Everything was perfect! Yet, half way through I had my head in a bin out by the resort pool – not lady like. But it went away and then I was all good, and I had the time of my life. Relief attacks, they ARE a thing!

Always & Forever
Mrs T xx

A new day, a new beginning

Tomorrow is the first day at my new job. I am equal parts nervous and excited. It’s a new beginning for me. I am reentering the corporate world after a 6 month break doing contracts and working for small businesses. I am very keen to get back to managing my own projects, having the support of a team and getting time to create high quality solutions, effectively,rather than semi quality solutions in high speed.

Tomorrow I get to decide who I am going to be. The people I am going to work with, they don’t know me. They don’t know my past, my issues or who I am. Do I go in with my very best foot forward, or do I go in as the person I mean to carry on as? It has taken me a long time to realise that I am a people pleaser. I want everyone to like me. And about 9 months ago (a few months before our wedding), I decided that I needed to change that. I needed to start making myself happy. So tomorrow I have decided to put a Good foot forward, rather than the very best, and to carry on that way. This way I am happy with myself and happy with the way I will be perceived.

This does not mean that I am anything other than a good person and employee. I am just saying that, I want people to like me, but I have also decided that I want to be good at my job, and not have my fear of not being liked, continue to get in the way of my career. I am too much of a social butterfly trying to make friends at work. I need to be more of myself, and try less to make friends, if that makes sense. People will either like me for who I am, or be impressed by my skills, ability and work ethic. I am female, and in I.T., I would like to think I can have both, but I have yet to come across a work situation where I have both been liked and respected. But that’s a blog for another time.

So, tomorrow, I have decided that I am going to walk in without a mask on. I am going to be myself from the very first day. A good worker, who knows what she is doing, who has 10 years of experience under her belt, who should be taken seriously and who is friendly and approachable.

I am going to be me, high heel wearing, coloured pen using, glasses wearing, web development loving, problem solving me. I am not going to pretend to be someone else, just to fit in any more. I will adapt to my team, and make an effort to fit with the team, but I won’t change who I am any more. I am happy with me, that’s all that matters.

Reading back over this, I feel like I have made a bit of a jumble over this, but I can’t think of a better way to explain this. In efforts to fit in, I have always tried too hard. Organising ping pong tournaments, Friday team lunches and more. I need to stop doing that. I would prefer to be respected because I am awesome at what I do (which I am), but I think it is diluted by my efforts to fit in, and those same efforts are what cause people not to respect me in my profession. That is going to change tomorrow. A new day, a new beginning.

Always & Forever
Mrs. T xx

Masks Off

Ticking or scratching?

I recently bumped into an old work colleague of mine at the shops. Since the last time we had seen each other she had had a baby and we had both gotten married. This was all discussed, even though we both knew most of it due to Facebook.

She then asked me what I was at the shops for, she was there to have her computer fixed. I showed her the paper I had in my hand with a list of things I needed to complete over the day. She said “oh a list, who would have thought you would have a list?” In that I am joking, being sarcastic, yet honest tone of voice people get when they are pointing out the obvious (I am also one to do this). I laugh and say yeah. Shortly after we part ways.

This chance encounter has stuck with me over the last few days. I can’t decide about what has exactly stuck with me, whether it’s the fact that I am apparently predictable, that I like lists, or that I feel judged because even though it’s been a year since I last saw her, I still use lists.

Lists help me keep track of everything I need to remember to get done that day. They help me to prioritise my work load. They help me create work – reward scenarios so I complete jobs that I don’t particularly like, and then I get to eat chocolate or watch a show I recorded. They help me count down to a goal. And most importantly, they help me control my anxiety when I start to feel myself spiralling.

They help me to find a start, a middle and an end. I don’t need her approval for my way of keeping control of my life, but what I would like is to not be judged for it. To not have her point out that I haven’t changed. And to be honest, I haven’t found a better way to keep track of all the little things that come into my mind that I need to get done. Why change something that is clearly working for me? And who is she to judge me?

Sometimes I have lists nested within others lists. Say I have a task to “Edit website banner”, it might have mini tasks of “get wording”, “get draft approval”, “get final approval” and “publish”. Other times I might just refer to a previous days list and say “complete tasks from yesterday”. Sometimes I draw little checkboxes and instead of crossing out I put a tick in the box next to the completed item. It all depends on the type of mood I am in – do I feel like ticking or scratching?

Anyway, I guess what I am saying is, I like lists, I like striving to achieve goals, I like crossing jobs off my list. I feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I look at my lists at the end of the day and see nearly every job crossed off. I like lists. And I don’t want to be judged for it.

Always & Forever
Mrs T xx

Done as a part of the daily prompt Ready, Set, Done

The Diary tucked under the mattress of my bed.

I am still a newbie to this whole blogging thing but I am finding that I really enjoy it. As a teenager, I had a diary, which I wrote in every night, or most nights anyway. Now, in this technological modern age, I have upgraded my pen and notebook for my iPad and WordPress. The only difference is that my diary I could hide from my friends and family, this blog not so much. I guess I could publish privately and make everything undiscoverable, but really, where is the fun in that?

And really, what are the odds of someone I know, actually finding MY blog amongst the millions that are out there? I am sure it is slim to none, never the less, I am still nervous they will find it.

I want this to be a place where I can express myself about the people, places things and events around me, but I feel stifled by this fear of exposure, of being caught out by a loved one, where I have gone on a rampage about an argument we had or about an annoying habit they have, or a lovely moment we spent together. Having to explain exactly what I meant when I said “that” about them is a true fear of mine.

I have stuck my foot in my mouth plenty of times before to know that people don’t tend to like my logical, realistic, no nonsense point of view when it is aimed at them. But generally when you say something inappropriate, it’s a complete accident, and it has just come straight out of your mouth without any filtering. But when you write it, you have taken the time to think about what you are saying, to reread for typos, and ultimately click the Publish button. You wrote it on purpose.

So I guess what I am wondering is, how bad can it be? Is using pseudonyms for myself and my family members a good enough cover up? Would they recognise I was writing about them? Is it okay for me to write about them? Will they forgive me? They are a big part of my life, and if this was a diary I wouldn’t even think to worry about this because my diary is tucked safely under my bed where no one can find it. I want to be able to write about them, I want to vent, I want to work through issues (I have always found that writing someone a letter helps me to figure out what is actually upsetting me. It helps me to clarify my issues), I want to write about the perfect day we had together with as much detail as possible so that I can come back to a post months, years later and without much effort relive the day, smell the smells, feel the emotions, know that the sun was hot but the air cold, remember the old lady feeding the birds even thought she wasn’t a part of the story, just a person in the background.

Should I be letting the fear of getting caught and hurting them, stop me from being true and free to myself, to stop me from making observations, learning to understand better, and continuing on my path of self improvement? One day I will take the plunge, and I will just have to wait and see and deal with the repercussions then.

Always & Forever
Mrs T xx

Departure lounge

So, as mentioned in a previous post, I quit my job last week because I have been offered a new job which gets me back onto my career path. I gave my current employers one weeks notice which ends this Friday.

And now I am sitting in the departure lounge, waiting. My bags are packed, my tickets have been stamped and my passport cleared, but I can’t get on the plane just yet, because it’s not ready yet.

I just want to start my new job already! But I am stuck where I am for the next three days. We’ll not really stuck, because I like my current employment, it’s just not a career. I am doing a lot of forward planning for social media and EDM’s, and prepping files for whoever files my role. But I am lacking in motivation to get any of these things done, and because of that, the days are dragging and I can’t get inspired to design an awesome banner or a cool picture for Instagram.

I just want to start my new job already, to get back on track with my career. I am stuck in the departure lounge with my feet still on the ground, and all I want to do is fly.

I wish there was a way to fake motivation.

Always & Forever
Mrs T xx

What am I worth?

I am not looking forward to going to work tomorrow. It is the first day of my last week, since I gave my resignation on Friday. Only one of my bosses was there to give it to (boss 1). I will be in the office tomorrow with the other one for a few hours before the other one arrives (boss 2). I know I am going to get grilled and I wonder if they will offer me something to stay, and I wonder what I will say.

Last week, before the phone call, I asked if there had been an increase in online sales compared to the same time last year. Boss 2 tells me there has been an increase, but once my wages and a few other things are deducted, it’s not really much of an increase, and that it would be unfair to do a comparison by month, and that we should wait until after January and then see where the bottom line is at then, we will make decisions on how to move forward.

Now I like to think I am fairly intelligent, so I told all of this to hubby when I got home, and he had the exact same thoughts as I did. My job is not secure. He has basically told me, that if after one year of work, if the increase in sales is not good enough that I may need to look for another job.

Normally this would be totally fine with me, as all employees should have KPIs. However, none have ever been set for me. I have attempted to ask for them several times and flat out asked for meetings to set them, all to no avail. I am a goal oriented person, so I like to aim for things. Currently my only aim is to complete work in high quantity with medium to high quality so that I don’t get The Look.

Again, at times The Look can be warranted, but only if a staff member has been given sufficient time to complete the task without being interrupted, having priorities realigned or being asked to do a “quick” job that ends up taking the majority of the day.

I know that this sounds like I am having a good old whine, but I’m not. I love where I currently work. It’s challenging, a learning experience, fun, frustrating, quick, trendy, and always new. I will value the time I spent with these people highly, and I know I will look back at experiences I had with them to view my professional and personal growth. But that doesn’t account for the experience I fear I am going to have tomorrow.

The reasons I started looking for a new job a few months ago were
1. Full time work – currently I am paid casually, this means no sick leave, no annual live etc.
2. I am being under paid for my industry and the type of work that I do – if my salary were to be worked our for a 38hr week, 52 weeks a year, I can honestly say that I have never been paid less for my type of work. I understand that small businesses can’t afford to pay the big bucks, but at the same time, I can’t afford to be paid less than the minimum. I was recently told that any of their staff members can help a customer, but only I can do the web stuff. This lets me know that they know what I do is specialised. But somehow not worth the money.
3. Work requirements – I am currently web developer, web content admin, edm specialist, social media manager, graphic designer, product designer, product description writer, photographer, QA, IT help and soundboard. I want to work somewhere where I can be perfect at one or two things, not okay at 50. I am a perfectionist, and I hate just doing a mediocre job because I simply did not have the time to do a great job.
4. Benefits – hubby and I want to start a family in about a year or so. We want to travel and do a minor extension to our house. All of this requires both of us being permanent employees (remortgage), annual leave (travel together) and maternity leave (perks of permanency). None of which I currently have and they know I want and need.
5. I want to get away from small business and go back to the corporate world. Go back to things being planned out, aligning with a business strategy, with a team of people who are there to help and support you because you are all working towards the same thing. Rather than working directly with the business owner, who doesn’t have a digital strategy, who won’t sit down and work one out with you, and who micromanages your work because their business is everything to them, and letting go is hard because it is their livelihood. I know that if it was my business, I would have a hard time letting go, so I don’t blame them for this, but because I understand this, that doesn’t stop it from being a reason for why I started looking for another job.

There are so many more reasons, nit picky ones, that don’t really matter but added on top of everything else, they just complete the cake. They are the cherries, the ganache, the salted caramel icing.

And I know that tomorrow, when I am in the office with boss 2, they are going to ask and say things, and I am only going to be able to give polite answers because 1. You never burn a bridge and 2. If I told them my real answers, they would think I was leaving out of pique, and not take me seriously. Again, I love where I work and I love the people. Every day brings something new and fun. But at the same time I believe that my skills and experience are being taken advantage of by this small business, and I do not believe that is fair, and I do believe that I am worth more.

I guess a lot of this boils down to how much I am getting paid. If I was getting paid to just do my advertised job description, then I wouldn’t be complaining because I accepted that work for that pay. But I seem to have been given all these extra bits and pieces to do which turn into mini projects, which change my job description, which I have had to learn specifically for this little project, with nothing but a “thank you” and a “do it again next week”. So if the pay matched the work, I think I would have been okay, but it’s my biggest issue with my situation, and it doesn’t help when family and friends agree.

I am hoping that tomorrow is easy, but I do not expect it to be, at all. But here’s to hoping!

Always & Forever.
Mrs T xx

Mind Wanders…no typo

Today hubby and I tore down our old verandah lattice rails to put up some new sleek slates, with a bar bench top so we can sit with bars tools around the verandah. As part of this giant job we had to paint all the supporting beams and wood thingys as they were a weird brown colour. You know that colour, brown that was once a really lovely colour that has now been bathed in countless sun hours and has warped into some deep brown shady version of itself. It is now a lovely steel blue grey colour.

But this is not the point to my blog. Whilst painting the mind wanders. I found myself thinking about a particular movie seen in a movie I watched a few days ago. It was Gone Girl, *spoiler alert* and the scene was when he found all the stuff in the wood shed. I just couldn’t get over why he didn’t just go to the police straight away. Or why he hid clue three?! If he is innocent, wouldn’t it be best to be 100% cooperative. Then BAM I realised. I was completely worked up over this fictional character and his character flaws. Then I started to wonder how did my thoughts get here? Then I did the backwards thought process I like to do. This was my thoughts
Crankiness and disbelief came from
Clue 3, came from
Scavenger hunt came from
A mission came from
Jack bower came from
24 tv show came from
24th bday present
25th bday present
26th bday present
What should I get hubby came from
Our one year anniversary is a few months away

(Now read it from bottom to top, minus the “came froms”

Now that’s a pretty mundane one, I have been known to have some fairly crazy, leap frog type mind wanders. But as I lay in bed, writing this blog, I wonder if anyone else ever back tracks their mind wanders? And no that’s not a typo, I am talking about the places your mind goes, not about the things it wonders about.

Have you ever traced your steps back through your mind, to see how you got there? Are you ever amazed at your own leaps? Or have you never thought about this before?

Always & Forever
Mrs T xx