Fear and uncertainty

Today is a bad day.

I want to be completely myself here, and lately most of my posts have been very positive and forward-looking.

Today. .  .I’m just not feeling that way.

I put my gym membership on a 6 month hold today, and that’s a huge bummer.

But I had to.

Because if the $30.89 automatic payment went through next week, it would bounce.

I may have to have C pay for her own phone bill next week, too. Because I can’t afford $25.

I hate being here.

I’ve been here before. (My friends from That Other Place know too well how often I’ve been here, and have helped me again and again.)

And it’s back.

That knot in my stomach that never goes away.

The fear that interferes with everything I do.

It seeps away enjoyment of everything.

It creates an endless loop of negative thoughts, and takes away all my energy.

Just a few weeks ago, I wasn’t all that worried that I wasn’t working. I thought by the time I did hit this point, I’d be working. Or at least have a couple more tutoring clients.

Tutoring

And one of the reasons I can’t pay the $25 phone bill is because yesterday I paid for a tutoring lead.

There’s this service that gives me leads from time to time. And I had been paying a low monthly subscription to respond to as many of the leads as I get. I didn’t mind because one hour with one client more than made up for the cost.

Last month they changed the business model. And now, I have to buy “credits” and use the credits to respond to the leads. Again, it’s cheap enough where one hour with one client is enough to make up for the expense.

I responded to a few leads, but got no response.

I think I know why, but it’s disheartening.

My rates are more than most of the other independent tutors. But I know I’m worth it, and I’ve had people pay those rates.

Over the years, I raised my rates slowly. I increased them when my qualifications increased, or when I was so busy I couldn’t keep up with all the clients. I grandfathered old clients into old rates, but had new clients pay new rates.

But, now I’m not getting any new clients.

I *hate* that I’ve got one client paying the current rate, but if I want another client, I may have to lower it. I don’t want to lower it.

And I’m tired.

The last year or so, I’ve been tired of tutoring.

I love my kids. I love working with them.

But I hate the driving, the nervousness about knowing if a client cancels, I’ll be scrambling for money, the selling myself.

Dear gods, I hate selling myself.

I’ve ignored my tutoring blog.

I’ve stopped researching techniques to help my kids see math in a different way.

I stopped aggressively advertising for clients.

Looking for work

There are things I need to do to increase my chances of getting a job.

Actually applying would help a lot. 😛 (I did put in applications today for jobs at tutoring centers).

I still need to go and talk to my mentor teachers and get letters of recommendation from them, so I can finish my applications for subbing.

I need to revamp my resumé. I had a resumé writer create one for me last year, after asking her if she could do education resumés. She assured me she could.

Except it’s not right.

A business resumé is expected to be one page, and only contains certain things, yada yada. 

Education resumés are different. For one thing, I’ve been told at least two pages.

On a business resumé it would be ridiculous to put that I used to teach CPR classes in the Navy. On an education resumé, looking for my first teaching job, I need to include it.

Silly little things like that. 

And I’ve been avoiding doing it. Because. . . 

I’m scared.


I am so fucking scared right now.

Scared to talk to my mentor teachers about letters of recommendation because I feel like I screwed up so badly in student teaching. (And I owe one of them $50). 

Scared to apply for teaching jobs because I’m not sure I can handle it. Scared even to start subbing.

What if. . . 

What if I’ve done all this work, and I can’t do the job? What if I’ve done all this and no one will hire me, because all the time I’ve been not working or doing something other than education in the last 10 years makes “them” think I’m not serious about teaching? 

What if I have an emotional breakdown on the job? In front of teenagers?

What if.  . . .. what if my therapist was right in 2004, and I really should be on disability instead of working? [That’s the scariest thought of all, and I haven’t actually vocalized (or written) it until now.]

Distractions

I’ve been distracting myself with the idea of starting a self-help business. I want to, but I also know it will take time to establish. 
For one thing, there are currently only about 25 people reading my blog routinely, and almost all of them are personal friends who aren’t likely to buy this stuff, especially since they are my emotional support. I haven’t been promoting it well enough. Like, I’ll only promote posts I’m really proud of instead of all of them, or I’m not consistent in posting.
I’ve gotten great ideas from listening to the summit stuff, and getting some support in that circle. Trouble is, it’s easy to find rabbit holes to jump down. There’s a total of 33 speakers in the summit. They each have mp3 talks and meditations, free booklets, blogs, email lists, lots of info and inspiration. I’m now getting like 50 emails a day, just from speakers from the summit. And of course, each one of those leads to more and more.  . . . distractions.
And then. .  . there’s M.
He’s been an absolutely delicious distraction. I am still enjoying talking to him every night. And lately there’s also been early morning emails before he goes to work that make me smile.
But I’m thinking about him too much when we’re not talking, and it’s taking up too much of my energy. I know it. I know that I can be obsessive. And I am being obsessive.
It’s certainly not his fault or intention; this is my own pattern, my own brain doing this.
And I also know I can be an all or nothing kind of person (part of the whole bipolar thing). 
So, the temptation is to say, “This is too distracting; I can’t do it any more.” 
I don’t want to do that.
I want to find a way to continue talking without obsessing.
I want to find a middle ground. . . . . . . (I’m really no good at middle of the road.)
photo by Cosmic Dustbunny 🙂
Because, really, if I don’t get working pretty much immediately, the plans we’ve been making to see each other won’t ever happen. If I can’t afford a $25 phone bill, I certainly can’t afford a trip to Vegas (or Portland or wherever else we end up talking about). And I want to meet up with him.
I need to get moving on finding a job.
So I need to stop letting “ooooh, shiny!” distract me (. . .  squirrel!. . . ) from the shit I need to do.
Writing this has helped me focus a bit, for now. 
Going to stare at a pretty picture for a few minutes, and then, off to rework my resumé.


Disappointment

Last Friday was supposed to be the relaunch of Invincible Summer..

I was holding off posting for days, waiting to post a pointer to my first post there.
Unfortunately, Life happened to the owner of the blog and the relaunch was pushed back, first a few days, then maybe next month, and now. . . I don’t know. She says:

I suppose I just wanted to write a note telling you that I’m still here, but I’m not sure where I’m going. And this blog is still here, but I don’t know where it’s going.

I completely understand where she’s at. I completely understand that she bit off more than she can handle right now.

I’m certainly guilty of the same thing, fairly often.

But I can’t hide my disappointment.

I was looking forward to working on more creative stuff. I do better when I have a deadline than when I’m working for myself.

Her following is larger than mine, and so is her mailing list. I was looking forward to greater exposure.

Now, I have a lot going on, too.

And I could be doing other stuff to promote my blog (I want to submit a guest post to Wild Sister, for example).

I’m about half-done writing up a workbook I want to put up here.

I haven’t even asked people here to look at the Inspired To Do Lists that I made or put a link in my sidebar.

On my To Do list for two weeks has been to create a page of the places I’ve signed up for affiliates and clean up my sidebar. That won’t really take me that long, but I’ve avoided it.

I haven’t listened to several of the more recent talks from the SSSBR. I also need to create a video and write up a piece about what I’ve gotten out of it, and I’ve been putting that off.

I’m putting it out here for accountability. Kick me in the ass. 🙂

Clearing and releasing

A couple of weeks ago I talked about reorganizing my living room.

It only took a couple of days, and it opened up the space so much. I’m really pleased with it. It feels much more comfortable in here. It’s been years since I’ve felt this comfortable in my own home.

Now, I just have to get C to pick up after herself. She’s almost never here, but still manages to leave a mess. But that’s kids, right?

I got rid of a ton of stuff and took a few things to storage. I shredded a stack of papers. I packed away the heaviest winter clothes.

It feels like I’ve cleared out my brain, especially how open the living room is now.

And it’s still going. I cleared a few things out of storage, too. And I’ve moved some stuff we’ve never used since living here either to storage or completely out of the home.

It just feels so much more relaxed. I’m almost kicking myself for not tackling it sooner. The thing is, though, I knew all along that I would feel this way about it. I talked about it last summer, even.

But for some reason, I was unable to actually make a move on it until now.

There’s still some clutter, but it’s not nearly as bad as it was.

Several years ago, lots of people I know were really excited about Flylady. I wanted to follow it; I wanted to like it. Lots of things about the site and her process (small chunks daily) are fabulous and do-able.

But I couldn’t get past polishing the sink and getting dressed all the way to shoes.

I don’t like shoes. I don’t wear them as often as I can get away with it. When I have to wear shoes, I prefer to wear ones that kick off easily. When I had an office job, as soon as I got settled at my desk, the shoes came off.*

Now, I understand her reasoning.

It’s a cue to your brain that you’re fully dressed and engaged in Real Life for the day.

But I hate shoes, and there’s no way I’m wearing them in my own home.

I’ve realized in the last few months, though, that I do have a mental cue about being dressed and fully mentally engaged for the day. And anyone that knew me in my 20s and early 30s is really going to laugh at this**. . . . a bra. . . . if I’m wearing a bra, I’m ready to Get Shit Done. If I’m not, nothing important is getting accomplished.

But now, I’ve discovered Unfuck Your Habit. Maybe it’s the profanity that speaks to me. Or maybe it’s the starting with making your bed.

For at least a decade now, whenever I’ve tried to work on issues of self-discipline, this is where I started – making the bed.

When I’m really depressed, I’m napping all day and tossing and turning all night, so I never really make the bed. When I start trying to turn things around, making the bed as soon as I get up is the first thing I do. After a week or two of that, I start to add in other things.

Really, Unfuck Your Habit isn’t that much different than FlyLady. But for some reason, I like it more.***

What does this have to do with releasing?

I’m releasing fears.

I’m releasing attachments to the past.

I’m releasing the idea of being STUCK.

I’m releasing expectations (and that one is fucking HARD).

Changing things in your environment around in a major way can help change your perspective.

Have you made any major changes lately?

*When I was a student at the local university, one of my math teachers was famous for walking around without shoes, ALL THE TIME. Made me smile.

**I notoriously went without a bra (and sometimes without a top) as often as possible. So, this makes me giggle.

***Zen Habits has some suggestions on where to get started in clearing clutter here.

Spring – new growth.

First of all, I know there’s still snow in a lot of North America, but where I live, spring has well and truly sprung. Trees are blooming (which is why I’m awake at 3:30 a.m. – allergies!).

I don’t know what kind of tree the ones with the white flowers are, but the pink are from cherry trees, and the purplish flowers with spiky stems are from a rosemary bush.

Ever since we moved here (in 2001! I can’t believe I’ve lived in one place so long!), every spring I’ve said, “I need to get some pics of the cherry trees, because they’re so pretty!”

And I never actually get outside to take the pics before the blooms are gone. But this year, I actually did it! Woo hoo!

I have several partially written posts, but nothing complete enough to post.

I have been doing a lot of things behind the scenes, journaling, getting ready to start with Invincible Summer., and processing stuff I’ve learned through the Succulent, Savvy, Soulful Business Revolution.

Last week, I took a break from all things blog and business while sketching out something I’m working on.
In the meantime, I have been working on some internal stuff. 
I have listened to Jeneth Blackert’s talk on SSBR three times now.

There was so much in her almost 2-hour talk that resonates strongly with me.

In particular, she calls herself a “Change Agent” and says she won’t give people “answers”, she helps them ask questions. And just asking the questions helps people change their energy.

Some of the questions she asks are things like, 

What is it that you know that you’re refusing to know and that if you stopped refusing it now would change everything?”

Think about that one for a minute. You don’t have to have an answer to the question. Just think about the question, and see how asking it makes you feel. A little uncomfortable? A bit excited?

 What dream have you given up long ago where if you chose it now would make your life a total joy?

Today on Facebook, she asked,

What is the most phenomenal thing that could happen now? 

And again, you don’t HAVE to answer the questions. Just ask them and see how you feel when asking them. That last one – for me, fear is the first thing that comes up. Why is that a scary thing? To think about something great that could happen? To picture something good happening? Why is that so terrifying? Because I’m not used to it? Because I don’t know how to handle it when good things happen? Why do I limit myself so much?

On Friday last week, Erika Watson talked about partnerships. Listening to her talk reinforced the idea that joining the Wild Sisterhood was a good idea, and so was creating the small mastermind group I’ve been working with. (Check out Esscentual Alchemy – the owner is one of my mastermind peeps!)

But I am still on information overload. There are several talks I haven’t even listened to yet. I’ve barely had time to process the ones I’ve listened to a couple of times and taken notes on. There’s several others I’ve listened to but not taken notes on, and mean to go back and listen to again. I’ve only just scratched the surface of the workbooks and bonus material. It’s so overwhelming.

But I also feel things shifting. Things inside me, things in my life.

It’s strange, because unless something drastic happens soon, next month is going to bring a lot of financial pressure and problems.

And yet, I’m not nearly as nervous about it as I think I should be.

The bills are paid for this month, and for now, that’s all I can do.

Please don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter. I’m trying to not bombard people all the time with stuff. Right now, it’s only going out once or twice a month.

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Making a Switch?

For years I’ve been reading about how much more customizable WordPress is vs. Blogger. 

When I looked into it awhile back, I felt like WordPress was too complicated for what I was doing and not necessary.

Right now, I’m playing with the idea of moving it. This is private now, while I play and get to know it. 

I hope that within a few weeks (months?) I’ll move my Blogger over and find a new webhost for my webpage LifeUncalculated.com.