For those of you who read my previous post, I would like to report that my mental state is somewhat better this week but still not back to normal. I spent most of the previous week working on presentation and demonstration materials for my day job for an event that has me lowkey excited. It's a new event, and it's always nice when my office is asked to participate in such things. However, the thing that boosted my mood the most as far as home life is concerned was buying new a new calendar and yearly planner. These seem like such simple things, but being able to look forward to the year ahead helps.
It's been a while since I last posted, partly thanks to the Christmas and New Year's holidays but also due to the fact I recently hit an emotional slump. Little things in my daily life snowballed, and minor comments and unintentional actions which I would normally have no problem shrugging off built up too fast for me to ignore. I was left feeling as though my voice doesn't matter and that the people in my life are undermining my personal goals. This perception of the world around me makes it difficult to find motivation to do much of anything, because gaining even a modicum of consideration from friends and family turns into a struggle.
I've had trouble finding motivation or inspiration to create much of anything this past week or so. And if you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed I've been fairly quiet there as well. I've fallen into a nihilistic mood that is often hard for me to shake. Being halfway through February, I am only a handful of weeks away from my busiest time of year, when my work schedule encroaches on my free time, and it becomes increasingly difficult to make progress on any of my personal projects. This is a very disheartening time for me, and I question the worth of working on any major projects as I know I'll end up interrupted during critical stages by a variety of obligations.
This weekend, western Pennsylvania and the surrounding region had to deal with some relatively common winter weather. So most people in our region spent the weekend at home, avoiding the cold as much as possible. I took advantage of the long, uneventful hours by working on some fanart. I know I should have probably spent part of the weekend writing or editing, but it's been nearly a year since I took time to work on a piece solely for my enjoyment. And the time spent on sketching, painting, and coloring helped distract my mind from other things.
There is nothing wrong with remembering your past and acknowledging it. It's okay if things that you've lived through still hurt and bring you pause. But you should not allow your past to overrule your present or your future. It can take some people longer to get over past damage or loss or injustice, but that does not justify clinging to your grief and pain so tightly that you not only fail to heal but also do more damage to yourself.
I spent most of last week feeling pretty lousy. Between humid nights, stressful days, and a stomach bug that left me unable to finish my meals, I had a hard time sleeping at night. Work kicked my butt in ways I didn't even notice; I started training a new employee, making my office hours fly by, and I clearly was not drinking enough to stay properly hydrated. Then on Thursday evening, I drove to Cleveland straight from work. I had spent most of the day feeling half-sick, but once I got to my hotel room, I finally started to relax and unwind. I knew it would be a great weekend, because I was attending my third Supernatural convention.
Over the past few weeks, my office has been conducting interviews to fill another key position vacancy, and while sitting at my desk trying to tackle my increased workload, I can't help but listen in on the questions being asked of the candidates just down the hall. One question that comes up in every interview is how does the job applicant deal with conflict. This is a common enough question in a job interview, and one that should be expected. A number of the applicants have stumbled over their answers however.
Summer can be a time of nostalgia. Family vacations, festivals, days trips to local interest spots all bring back memories of our childhoods as we share favorite places and activities with our new friends and children. But nostalgia can also bring with it melancholy. Sometimes I've found this to be true for me, and over the years, I've learned to identify certain things that, even though I love them, I know will drop me into a period of depression.
When it comes to stressful situations, there comes a point where it is healthier to stop caring than it is to continue investing time and energy to worrying. Unfortunately, it seems that all of us have hit that point in my office.
Over the weekend, I attended another Supernatural Convention. The SPNFamily is incredible in their inclusiveness and their caring. All weekend we heard the messages encouraging us to support one another and to not fear asking for help when we need it, that it's okay to not be okay.