The past month has been a blur of work, birthday parties, visiting family members, and blistering negativity.
Let me explain.
Work: Load has increased, mainly due to client needs. It’s exciting, it’s rewarding, but I’m also tired and stressed quite easily.
I try to combat fatigue by getting enough sleep, yoga, positive thinking and mindfulness, and listening to my body. I’ve noticed a lift in depression, and I’m grateful to contribute some of that to self-nourishment. Taking care of ourselves is so easy to get away from, yet it becomes, after some time away from it, so hard to re-engage. Luckily for me, it was time for another therapy session, and my LMFT got me back on track.
Parties and Family: My father’s birthday was on May 23rd and my grandfather’s birthday and grandparent’s 54th wedding anniversary was on May 30th. That translates into two weekends of “celebration” at my parents’ house, which in turn translates into 50% enjoyment, 50% non-enjoyment per event (see past family blogs). I hate to be blunt, but let’s just say three hours of socialization is about maximum for that sort of thing.
Add consecutive weekends, and it becomes taxing.
My mother’s sister, my aunt, visited — I have always enjoyed spending time with her, and saw her twice while she was here. She also helped out with my grandparents, cooking, cleaning, and entertaining, which took some weight off my mother.
I had a bit of a social anxiety episode when my grandfather’s sister, her daughter, and her daughter’s grandchildren visited on the 30th. Diagnosis: too many people I didn’t know in too small of a space. I tried to be polite, but spent a lot of time inside. It’s nothing personal.
And Blistering Negativity: One of the most draining parts of the last month, to be perfectly honest, was the saga of a new girl at work. She was hired in April to supplement a core member of my work team, her immediate boss, who has to work for a few months abroad.
She ended up supplementing in the wrong way. Described by my boss, the CEO, as “friendly, laughing, and smiling” during the interview, he trusted her because she went to school with her superior.
However, as soon as he arrived on international land, she was bashing the guy who got her hired, and vying to take his place as department leader.
Privately frustrated by our leadership team member’s departure, which caused some fracturing in project operations in early May, I didn’t pay much attention when the new girl talked badly about my co-worker.
You know me enough to believe it when I say that I am no stranger to negativity and back-talk. However, I would not anticipate how much of a drain she became on our small, suburban, sunlight-filled marketing agency.
Because we are close in age, she quickly attached herself to me and earnestly desired for me to be a part of her narrative. She was confident, and seemed relatively fun-loving. She was blunt, which I liked, and perhaps sometimes I appreciated that she would actually stir things up in such a peaceful company.
But now I recognize that perhaps I was experiencing mixed moods in mid-May; I wasn’t feeling well, and now, looking back, I assume I could have been both depressed and hypomanic, almost looking for a fight.
We spent a full week at the office together, alone, in mid-May. She was my only partner and entertainment. We ate lunch together every day, and I was feeling lonely. Soon, she didn’t want to spend one lunch break without me. She texted me during work, commenting on how annoying a co-worker’s shoes were or how annoying my boss was. It was distracting, and there were many days that I just wanted to be left alone.
In a strange twist of events, one of our clients flew my boss and the new girl up to their office three states away to help with a project. She texted me a bunch while she was gone, which was a bit taxing, but I was intensely relieved to be working at home. The day they were to arrive back, she decided to work from home, and when my boss and I reunited, he confessed she was the worst business trip partner he’s ever had in over 25 years of traveling for work.
He described her as negative, sometimes numbing, sometimes intense, rude, out of touch, and wildly disconnected and insensitive. By the end of the trip, he repulsed her. This is shocking for a man who I’ve accused to be too nice for his own good.
As I listened to his story, and matched it against how she described the trip, I was taken aback. That entire day, the weight she had inadvertently set on me over the last several weeks was becoming heavier by the minute. It was hard to sleep that night. I knew he wanted to fire her. I was exhausted. And surprisingly, I wanted it too.
He knew she clung to me, desired my approval, and he didn’t like it. He worried about her bad energy. I stayed home for two days until he finally let her go. She called me. Texted me. Wanted to process it.
I couldn’t because I had nothing left. I already knew exactly what was going to happen. And that was fine.
Needless to say, this week had been fresher, the entire team has more energy. I’m feeling better, on the upswing I think.
Even though the days are still very busy, it feels good, and I have enough mental energy to get back to writing today, which feels even better.
Feel free to comment on this post and let me know how the past month has been for you, too.