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.


The difference a year makes

Last year at this time, I was frantically trying to finish up my student teaching, grading papers, writing final exams. .  .

I had surgery about seven weeks before and I was physically and emotionally exhausted.

I was looking forward to finishing up and collapsing for a few weeks.

I didn’t know that it would take a year to start to feel like myself again.

In some ways, I feel like I “lost” another year. Isn’t it bad enough that I feel like my thirties were a total waste due to depression? I have to start wasting my forties, too?

I could have had my credential a year ago. I could be working as a teacher now instead of scrambling to find a job. I could have worked on building my business instead of ignoring it.

But, right now, I’m feeling like things are turning around. I’m seeing good things that can happen and I am actually able to see the steps I need to take to get there.

I don’t remember when the last time I felt this productive and capable was.

Maybe I just really needed this last year to rest, reflect and rejuvenate.

Maybe now, I’m finally ready to take on the next chapter of my life.

New career, new business prospects, opening up to romance, feeling stronger and healthier. . .

Goddess Leonie’s workbook is helping, but it’s not like anything in there is NEW information. I’ve known about making goals and setting action items before. But this time, I feel like I might actually be able to follow through.

Am I actually manic right now? Is this unrealistic? I don’t know, but I hope not. I hope this is exactly right – enough energy to do what I need to do but not so much I start being crazy.

Current happenings

Lots of different things going on in my head at the moment, so this might take the form of a disorganized list.

  • For my birthday, I received a Kindle Fire HD. I’m really, really excited about this, I can’t even describe. 
    • I’ve downloaded almost 100 books for FREE so far. 
    • For productivity and organizational help, I’ve got List Master, Evernote and Connected Mind (a mind map program).
    • For mindless entertainment, there’s NetflixHulu PlusAndoku Sudoku 2,Mahjong Deluxe, and a zillion other games. 
    • For music, I can stream Pandora or store stuff on Amazon Cloud to download. The Cloud offers up to 250 songs for free. If you need more than that, you can pay a small annual fee for virtually unlimited space.
    • Email: I can sync ALL my hotmail and gmail accounts (as well as yahoo, exchange or “other” email accounts) and access them all from one screen. That is so much cooler than switching identities in hotmail or logging out and logging back in for gmail on a web browser.
  • We’re getting down to the wire for C’s college applications. She’s got the most important one in, but is dragging her feet on the others. But she’s got the next week off of school, so she’ll have time to finish. She also needs to work on her senior project.
  • I’m still not working and there’s only a few weeks until unemployment runs out. I’ve got to find something NOW and I’ve been dragging my feet. Look for a fear of success post soon.
  • I’m still talking to M. The conversation has really mellowed, but I still get a flutter whenever I see that he’s responded. Damn, it’s so easy to turn me into an incoherent, lovesick teenager. How do I feel? I don’t know. There are obstacles, and I don’t know if it would be possible to work something out, nor do I know if he’d want to, but things are mellowing into pleasant conversation for the most part. I did journal about some boundaries I need for my sanity, and as long as things remain within those boundaries, I’d like to keep talking, see where things end up.
  • Mentally/emotionally I’m all over the map. Good, almost great, days, but also too many days where I’m doing a lot of nothing. It’s annoying, but I’m trying to remain consistent with my meds. 

    Former Morning Person

    I’ve had so many partial blog posts written that it is crazy. I write a few sentences, and then lose my flow, and can’t seem to get started back with that topic again.
    So, today, I’m asking a question: are you a morning person or a night owl? Have you noticed other things about your personal circadian rhythm
    I’ve been reading and watching videos of a bunch of small business blogs. I’m on several email lists for these bloggers, and so I’m getting some content not available on their blogs. For example, Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You to be Rich is getting ready to launch a revamped version of his Earn 1K package. I already know I will not be able to afford this, but I’m taking advantage of the free content he’s emailing. Last week one of the things he linked to was a sample video from one of his “master classes” about time management. He had Tim Ferris, the time management guru of The Four Hour Workweek.
    During the brief video, they had a discussion about working late or working early. Ferris said that he thinks most people that he knows that write, write between the hours of 2-5 am. Some of them, like him, stay up late to write, and others, like Ramit, get up early in the morning. But they both try to do concentrated work during the hours they have the most energy. They both say that is key to having a successful business and being a successful writer.
    For me, I’m by nature an annoying morning person: I wake up before the alarm, I don’t drink coffee or ingest other caffeine to get going, I’m cheerful and even sometimes bouncy.
    However, one of the medications that I take has been trying to change that. The medication that I take at night, a medication that acts as a mood stabilizer, has the side effect of helping me sleep. I sleep deeper and longer than I have in many years thanks to this medication. But it makes it difficult for me to wake up in the morning in my usual way. I now need the alarm. I stay in bed until after C is done with her shower instead of getting up half an hour before her.
    The problem is that I still think of myself as a morning person. I keep thinking, “I’ll do that in the morning, before I go do [whatever].”
    But now, that is not my highest energy time.
    I need to adapt my thinking to face this new reality. Or take my night-time medication earlier so I’m not so tired in the morning. I love being productive early in the day. But I need to find ways to cope now, and be productive with my current energy cycles.
    So, I’m putting it out there for you guys: What time of day are you most energetic and/or productive? Do you maximize your high energy time by accomplishing tasks in your home, with your family, or on your business during your high energy time?