Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Whining Post

For the most part, I use this blog for books and book related posts. That was the whole point in creating this blog. But there are days when I just feel the need to unload. And sometimes, this is the only place. Feel free not to read. I'm not even looking for comments. I just really need to vent.

Commence whining: The poker hand above is a Royal Flush. My daddy taught me to play poker when I was little. It's a game I love...and to be honest, I'm good at it. In the words of Kenny Rogers, I "know when to hold them, and know when to fold them. I know when to walk away and I know when to run". I was talking to an old friend the other night, and we got on the subject of life, in general. (And a whole lot of specifics that I will leave out of this post). The reason for the poker hand?? He told me (and I will paraphrase) that sometimes life deals you a rotten hand, and you just have to do the best you can with what you've got. Makes sense, doesn't it?

Well let me tell you....if my life was a poker hand, I would have folded and ran a long time ago! The last 10 years have been rough. For some reason, I must have zoned out of all those lessons that told me how rough life really is. I don't remember anyone talking to me about "corporate downsizings", "permanent layoffs", "bank foreclosures", "bankruptcy" or "rescinding incentive payments". No one told me at this age, I would be working 2 jobs, on off-shifts...some weeks up to 75 hours. No one told me that at this age, even after all the hard work, I'd still have to count my pennies just to pay my bills. No one told me how HARD life would be.

Hindsight is 20/20, they say. And those mysterious "they" would be right. I can pinpoint a few decisions that I made that could have drastically changed the shape of my life. Sitting here right now, it's easy to say that I was an idiot for making the choices I have. But I can't change things, and it seems so counter-productive to second guess myself. At the time, the decisions I made felt right. If I could go back and do it all over again, would I? I can't actually say. Would my life have been better? Who knows??

What I do know is this: As much of a struggle as life is, I have 3 wonderful kids that I can't live without. They are my reason for waking up in the morning. And my reason for breathing. I am employed, which is more than a lot of people can say. And I'm thankful for that. But I want to teach. I have for a long time, but have given many excuses for why I never returned to school to get my certification. In a perfect world, I'd be a professor of English lit at a small Liberal Art College out East. Or maybe teaching high school English in a small town by the ocean. And you know what? Starting in the fall, I'm going to be taking classes again. At least one class. Just to see if I still have it in me. And to see if I can handle it with my already over-the-top schedule.

My friend made me think about a lot of things, and even without the conversation, things have been building. To be honest, the last few days, I've felt like shit anyway. I'm just coming off a major migraine. For the last 2 days, I've been pretty much down and out. It's really bad when you can't move without getting nauseous. To top it all off, the blood tests that I took last week didn't exactly have the results I'd hoped for. My TSH levels (for my non-existent thyroid) are way too high and my meds need to be changed again. My cholesterol is through the roof. Stress isn't helping anything. And I think I might possibly be getting an ulcer. Sheesh. I think I need a vacation. I'm tired and still not feeling great. I just want to know....when it is MY turn for a Royal Flush??

That's it. Whining Ceased. I feel much better now. Stay tuned for more "Book" stuff later!!


Nymeth said...

Feel free to vent anytime, Stephanie...we're here to listen. I'm really sorry things have been so hard for you :( But you know, I think taking a class is a great idea. I bet you DO still have it in you, and even though it will add to your already full schedule, it will probably also be very rewarding. And it'll be one step towards a better future. I wish you all the luck in the world. I think you'd make a fantastic teacher.

Stephanie said...

Thanks Nymeth! I feel better already. It's just I've felt so crappy lately, and then all the talk about the past made me think. I have a degree from the university I don't use. I have a job(s) that are taking it's toll on my mind and body. And I'm just not all that happy. Gotta figure a way to change things. For the better!

mjmbecky said...

I'm so sorry. :( It never feels any better to have people say we all have our burdens, especially when you look around and say, "Hey, can I see what their problem is?!?" At 34, I looked in the mirror one morning and said, " that's life? Not losing your mind and ending up in the mental hospital? Okay, time to put one foot in front of the other." I really was shocked when I realized that life is about a lot of really mundane moments, interspersed with grand vistas. It scared me. I'm glad you shared with us, because it's a reminder to us all that we're sharing a very real human experience, surrounded by other people who just might need a helpful hand or kind word. (Wow...that sounds cheesy of me!) It's true though. Thanks for sharing, because I've always thought you were so nice and kind, reaching out to everyone. Hopefully we can do the same, to lift your spirits, if nothing else!

Renay said...

Things are hard all over! I feel you and sorry it all has you so down. Maybe the class will be a nice change of pace. I always feel better when I'm learning something new--like I can take on the world with the power of my brain meats!


Stephanie said...

Becky - Thank you so much! I really hate taking to the blog to vent. But sometimes, it's easier to write out my feelings rather than try to talk to someone here. Who knows? I do know I am looking forward to starting classes again.

Renay - Thank you! Sometimes I think my brain is going stagnant, and that's why I'm feeling so down. So this is a good thing! That and lack of sleep. With both jobs, there are seriously some days I go 36 hours without sleep. I think that's rotting my brain as well!

Literary Feline said...

You can whine all you want here, Stephanie. Vent your frustrations and fears. I think most of us can relate and feel similarly at various points in our lives. It's just so hard when you're the one going through it. I have faith that your luck will turn around one of these days and your hard work will pay off.

I think going back to school is a great idea. We will all be pulling for you!

Bibliolatrist said...

I agree that taking this fall class will be a great idea -and whine away whenever you feel the need.

Good luck :D

Amy said...

I am so so sorry, Stephanie! I can't imagine. But hey, thank God you have those awesome kids and I think the class is a good idea. Maybe I should do that too....I think my brain is complete mush. :)

Kailana said...

I think you would make a fantastic teacher, Stephanie! You have the right personality for it, in my opinion. I hope that things start to improve for you and I am sorry things haven't been going so well for you. I think it happens to the best of us. Hang in there!

dolcebellezza said...

Stephanie, I'm so sorry it's so hard for you now. I think life goes like that, terrible slumps seem to prevail actually. (That's why I say this world is not my home.) I'm so glad you have three great kids, and dreams of teaching English lit. I'm sure you'll accomplish what you desire to do even if it takes awhile to get there. I'm thinking of you.

Nicola said...

I hope you don't mind a few words from a fellow Catholic.

Our homily in Church last Sunday was about our plans for ourselves and how they may be good, well-thought out plans, honourable plans even. Plans we may feel are good for us and others, but then we must ask ourselves, "What is God's plan for me?" Sometimes the answer is not the same as the answer you have for yourself.

Pray, and don't worry yourself too much with what God is in control of. He will always be there for you and guide you in the right direction if you take the time to listen.

Glory be to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Michelle said...

Hey, Stephanie - vent away! This is your forum to do what you need to do. And sometimes, we all need to vent. I've seen what working off shifts can do to a person, and the fact that you are working two jobs and have been doing it for so long is a testament to your strength and determination - of which you have more than most people.

I think you will be a wonderful teacher and that you will have no problems getting that certification. Life will find a way to reward you for everything you have gone through over the past ten years. Of that, I have the utmost faith.

In the meantime, let me know if there is anything I can do to help, even if it is as a shoulder/sounding board!

Chris said...

Huge gigantor mega sized hugs to you Steph!! I feel the same way sometimes...that saying "if I knew then what I know now" seems to fit way to often. But like you, I'm generally happy with the basics in my life right now. I hope things get better for you soon Steph. I think it's awesome that you're taking a class in the fall!! I know you have it in you to do whatever you want to do!! It's just more stress sometimes to get there. But it'll pay off in the end. Let me know if there's anything I can do from way down here in the south to help you :)

Joanne said...

Feel free to vent anytime, I think it helps not only you but also the people who read it and see that they aren't alone in their troubles. We might not all suffer the same problems but we do all experience crappy things at some point. Even the people with perfect seeming lives have problems - they just hide them better in my opinion.

I wanted to just say it's okay to feel like this, but I also wanted to tell you that unfulfilled dreams and hopes are sometimes what keep us going. Like you wanting to be a teacher, I wanted to be a librarian. But life got in the way. Now I am trying again - and believe me holding onto that dream really helped in the long run.

I sound like those Hallmark cards I despise but I sincerely wish you the best of luck and hope things start looking up for you soon. Just take a look at your kids and think of how successful you've been so far - it only gets better!

Amy@TheSleepyReader said...

Stephanie- Hey, everyone needs to vent. I am sorry you are going through a hard time. I can relate to a lot of it.

I think taking the class is a wonderful idea. I started taking classes again this summer and it has given me hope that things don't have to stay this way forever( the working your buns off only to have to pinch pennies, I mean) plus it just feels good to be in class learning and making forward progress.

Debi said...

Oh sweetheart, you whine all you want!!! Don't you know that we love you? And if you can't vent to your friends who love you, well, then who can you vent to, right? And EVERYONE needs to let it out once in while! Goodness knows you've got a lot on your plate, Stephanie. I definitely think a class is a wonderful idea. You NEED something. Something that is just for YOU! You can only give so much, you know. You need to take a little, too. You DESERVE to be happy, sweetie!

Iliana said...

Oh Stephanie you definitely are allowed to whine and I hope you felt just a teensy bit better after doing so. Sometimes just writing things out helps. I think it's great that you are getting back to school - it's better to say you tried it than look back on it later and think what if.

As far as the cholesterol, have you tried fish oil? I highly recommend that.

Sending you good vibes and a hug :)

christina said...

Stephanie -

I think that it's fantastic that you are returning to school, even for one class.

I don't know if this will be useful or not, but you might also qualify for scholarships (returning student, mother of three...) Check out
Fastweb. It's the best online resource that I'm aware of. Free money is free money, right?

Good luck.

Tif said...

Kudos to you! To have realized that you are not happy and need a change is HUGE!! I wish you the best of luck! And, I hope that your post was cathartic! I know it always helps me write out my vents. In fact, I just did something like this on Facebook last night. Boy, that felt good!! :)

Josh said...

I was just wondering about you and checked out your blog. I’m sorry to hear about your troubles. I don’t know if I can do anything to make you feel better but I want to say thank you again for reviewing my book on your blog a few years back. It was very kind of you. I’ve since given up on writing but I hope you’ll find a way to keep involved in literature. I don’t think you can go wrong with continuing your education. As all of your readers and friends have said in these comments, you deserve to complain all you want. Reading your complaints is a small price to pay for reading your reviews. Good luck to you. Josh

Trish said...

Oh Stephanie--my heart is going out to you right now. My husband and I are kind of going through that "maybe we should have..." and it's really tough to know what the right decisions could have been. We made a bad move when we graduated from school (a literal move to work for his dad rather than come straight to Dallas to look for jobs). Scott is currently out of a job and we can't help wonder what would have happened if we skipped the whole "working for dad" bit and got serious in the first place. Anyway, this isn't about me. :P

I think it sounds like a really wonderful thing for you to go back to school. I know it's hard and it's really scary, but it if will get you one more step closer to your dream, then you should absolutely go for it. And if it isn't for you? At least you'll know you gave it an honest shot.

Hugs to you.

Carl V. said...

Venting can be good for the soul, absolutely no reason to feel bad about using your blog for that on occasion. We are all friends here and it gives all of us an opportunity to come together and support one another.

I can relate to so much of what you have said. I felt like I finally 'grew up' recently when I realized where I was in life financially, etc. and it wasn't a pleasant feeling, mainly because I didn't like what I saw. I didn't like the feeling at all. That's why I started the Dave Ramsey thing, I just knew I needed to pull myself out of the situation I had put myself in by my own negligence and by the stress and hardship of life.

You've got some dreams and there is no doubt that you are a hard worker. No doubt at all. Life can deal some bad hands, but it is people like yourself, with your drive and commitment to your family that will succeed. You already have all the tools that so many of us need to develop just to get started. I know things will start looking up for you.

What I would encourage is that in your free time (yes, I laughed when I typed it) you begin to look at what it would take to follow your teaching dream. Even if what it would take looks impossible I think it is good to get it down on paper and truly begin to take steps, even tiny ones, towards that goal of being happy in your career and conversely in the rest of your life. I believe it can be done, even if it takes a lot of time to do it.

You're a good person and I hope for the very best for you and your family.