Persistent headaches & funny discoveries…

Well, my plan to be gone from work by this past Friday has gone by the wayside, mainly because they’ve just become even more short staffed in the past week or so, but also because I’m a terrible wuss who can’t seem to scrub that “doormat” tattoo off my forehead no matter how I try.

The good thing is, apparently my frazzledness has shown itself a bunch because I’m down to a lot less hours this week, which will give me time to actually make some plans and get things done rather than take care of the pets and go to bed.

I took the time to cook today, or at least, get some semblance of it done. Wasn’t a difficult recipe, or two, rather. Haven’t had a good muffuletta in a long time, and had just about everything except the sub rolls to put it on. Mmm… I can make one of those a good habit once in a while, that’s for sure.

And then I made a total bastardization of cheeseburger pie, which my dad always made: meat with chili powder, mashed potatoes, cheese on top. However, I got a family pack of those Salisbury steak and gravy entrees from the freezer (forgot why the hell I got them in the first place, really), heated them up in the oven enough to thaw out, put ’em in a glass dish with a bunch of fresh cut mushrooms. I then put that gravy all over the shrooms and steaks and let it all bake together til cooked through. Mashed potatoes smoothed on, then cheddar slices over the top, back in the oven to get melty and a little toasted on top.

And I had more than enough of that to make several lunches for the week, with frozen veggies on the side. Very filling and different from the original, but at the same time, easier to clean up after when you’re not feeling so hot.

I’ve avoided the computer for a few days because my head was starting to hurt from too much stimulation. Work was annoying as all hell and will only get worse due to restrictions. At least I’m only there a few days this week. That will help with my cooking plans for one thing, and no takeout or fast food for another.

I’m sure a good part of the reason I’ve been so miserable lately is that I’ve been eating mostly fast food for the past few weeks, ever since my temporary roommates have gone back home. Nice to know things are working out for them all, but I guess having them around gave me a good excuse to clean up better and take better care of myself while helping others after a long day.

I’m at the point where I feel if I even look at another french fry, I’m gonna be sick.

I feel like a switch got flipped and things just went wonky. Not only was I anticipating having roommates a few months as opposed to a couple of weeks, and adjusting nicely to that, suddenly I was adrift and I’d gotten used to people being around.

Now I’m feeling erratic around too many people. I’m good at faking it til I make it at work, but one day I’m gonna be too tired to even pretend to be in a super good mood and it’s gonna be obvious or annoying to others or just make things very awkward. When I’m done being sociable in short bursts with every client, I’m just drained.

I think I finally realized that I’ve been living with and dealing with the “emotional labor” aspect for a helluva lot longer than I thought. Guess it never hit me that all these niceties I’ve felt the need to do were part of that–I figured it was a bad habit mixed with social-awkwardness.

Homer and Marge: A Tale of the Gender Pay Gap in Springfield

Yeah, Marge, keep it up… forever…

So yeah, only three days at work this week is great for me, and if it could be my LAST week, that will be even better. And I’m gonna have to let the boss know tomorrow that I need to be done by September, that I can’t keep putting things off for weeks and weeks because then I’m gonna truly get discouraged and fail in my endeavors before I’ve even had a chance to really try them.

I fizzle out quickly unless I can really get myself mentally there, prepped and ready to go. But it’s hard to look for freelancing work when you don’t think you’re ready to go and do it yet because oops, so-and-so has something going on and we need you every freaking day here. When I have that much interaction with folks every single day, I’m a burned out wreck and just want junk food and bedtime.

It’s gonna be hard enough trying to flex my writing muscles and get my story ideas going strong right now, but add to that job searches I have to juggle with the one that’s been hanging over my head? Yeah, recipe for disaster that’s basically kicked me down for over a decade. Not going back to that, dammit. Not gonna stay in that zone where defeat is inevitable because I can’t let myself stretch any further.

And why couldn’t I before? Too many other people at a job that doesn’t fulfill me depending on me. I’ve had the hardest time telling the people-pleaser to shut the hell up and go away my whole life. I’m just gonna have to be the bad guy in a few weeks.

I had to take a break because I was in the middle of the August dumps. They hit every year and are usually as bad as (if not worse than) the December Dumps. My birthday’s at the end of the month, and I was excited for it for once not because I’m going on some cruise or getting some crazy cool presents or whatever, but rather because I quit my job and had a plan to actually do something I wanted with my life.

I gave myself permission to live, to try something new, to dare to do something different, others opinions be damned.

And then that people pleaser said “no, be reasonable, you’re gonna affect a helluva lot of people if you just up and go.”

I want to take that voice and go out back and beat the crap out of it. Would probably end up They Live style. That would be sweet.

Anyhoo–

I am gonna look at what’s in my cabinets and make some cooking plans, and find a good white sangria recipe to waste a day with on my birthday and not have to concern myself with going to the office that day or the next or the next. I want to be DONE.

And that’s why I need to make it clear that I need to be done in the next two weeks max. I want to salvage what’s left of this crazy mixed up year for myself and not be sticking around prolonging the agony in one respect and getting sucked back into the banality of a theoretically easy job.

Besides, I’m liking the fact that I can buy groceries, including fresh produce, and not have to worry about half of it going bad before I remembered why I bought it in the first place. I accidentally figured something out today when I was moving things around on my fridge.

I typically have a few of those small magnetic white boards on my refrigerator so I can write down recipes to try or things I need to put on my list for the store. Well, on a stainless steel door, those things won’t stick, and keeping them on the side is really crowding things up a bit (and heaven forbid I knock them off and drop the darn things in that tiny space between the counter and fridge).

Well, on a whim I tried using my dry-erase marker on the stainless steel door, and it worked like a charm. Easy to remove, writes nicely. That surprised the hell out of me, and now I have a nice large surface to write my meal plans on and make notes about ingredients to get or what page in what cookbook I’ll find it.

I just solved my second-biggest problem when it comes to cooking and good eating habits at home. And yes, I had fun writing in different colors (though the green comes out way too light, guess I’ll ignore that one in the future).

I’m so glad I don’t have to be in early tomorrow, so I can take the time to make a nice frittata I found in my cookbook yesterday. Can’t wait til I get my new blender tomorrow, because then I’ll be having oodles of smoothies, too this week. It’s true that without that job, I’ll be stretching what little budget I’ve got coming to me monthly for a while, but if I’m not relying on fast food multiple times a day, that’ll cut my expenses way down, anyway.

I’m actually excited to have time to get away from junk food and clean my house.

Weird.

Oh, and just a moment ago, I got a text from a co-worker asking if I would want to take one of her shifts. I said “not particularly” (especially since there was no elaboration on why). She seems okay with that, though, so yay…

maybe I can make this thing work after all…

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