Self reflection: It is the calls that I hate.

I live in eternal fear of being messaged on Microsoft Teams; the “can we have a quick call” request is enough to throw me into utter despair. Every workday I sneak online trying not to make any sudden movements lest the powers that be see me online and take that as a signal to message me.

Of course I have always known for a while that meetings and calls stress me out; I barely like receiving phone calls from my friends and family, let alone clients and co-workers. However the first two weeks of work have really cemented this. I have been complaining about being tired of work for aeons now, and the 2021 was particularly draining. I ended the year with nothing else to give and an utter desperation to find something new.

Typically I lead the team in the day to day, liaising with the client and reporting to the manager and partner. This means constant meetings; daily meetings twice a day with the team, regular scheduled meetings with the client, incessant messages from junior members asking questions, and managers checking on progress. All of this while trying to do my own work. It was exhausting.

In the first two weeks of 2022, I have been picking up on some final outstanding tasks from last year so I have been working relatively independently with no junior staff to tend to, and no client calls. The difference is clear. I’m still tired of the work, but it has become apparent that the main stressor is the meetings.

I still have anxiety about being messaged, and my heart starts thumping erratically once I see the Teams icon flashing or when the three dots appear in the manager’s message box. I would be much happier if everyone just left me alone! Unrealistic yes, but a girl can dream. I am already dreading the work in the coming weeks when I say goodbye to working independently and I’m back to leading a team. Every time one of the junior staff messages me, I feel like an overworked mother with a den of toddlers who are constantly asking her questions. It is even worse when it is the manager requesting a quick call.

This realisation has led to a further complication; there are not many corporate careers in which I can work independently with minimal contact with the client and co-workers. This, along with my general laziness, is stalling my search for new job; because what is the point of moving on to a new job if it does not make me feel better? I do need to get rid of this mentality.

They always say “when you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work“. I don’t believe this fully, but perhaps the real root of my irritation is that the work doesn’t fulfil me. If I loved the work, maybe I would happily have a hundred calls a day (probably not). I’m talking around in circles now.

My dream job is no job; I do not dream of labour or whatever it is that random person on the internet said. But seeing as I have to work, my dream occupation is one where I never have to set an alarm; I wake up naturally when my body wants and work to the my own schedule; I have only the barest minimum number of meetings and no one has immediate access to me on Teams; there are no urgent deadlines and I can go weeks with no one expecting things from me. Unrealistic yes, but a girl can dream.

It all comes back to writing, doesn’t it?

Self reflection

The first week of twenty twenty too is over with, and we are already hurtling head first into week 2. Though I only worked for four days, it seemed much longer and I was drained when Friday rolled around. To be fair, I have not stopped being drained, my exhaustion just took a break over Christmas. We are back to regular programming, it seems. I’m already back to hating everything and complaining about work.

I typically approach the start of each year with cautious optimism; new year new me! and God bless, I am always so hopeful. Every year is the year I finally write to my heart’s content and complete a draft of something, this is the year I travel, this is the year I live the life I dream about, and so on. Every year I end up not doing any of these things.

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Twenty twenty too.

This time last year, we were gratefully exiting the wretched 2020, battered and exhausted by the unprecedented turn of events. Already people were commenting on how the new year sounds like “twenty twenty won“, and now this has changed to “twenty twenty too“. It does seem like we have never left the year 2020, and how could we have when Ms. Rona and her ever changing progeny are still around? In my mind 2019 is last year, not nearly three years ago! Time has flown by so quickly, even as the world grinded to a halt. I am dizzy and drained.

As we went into 2020, I was cautiously optimistic as one often is entering a new year. This was twenty twenty and it was everyone’s year. I had spent 2019 Christmas in Dubai with my family, and welcomed the new year surrounded by love, food, and fireworks. I was happy. I had also finished a highly stressful professional qualification in 2019, and I marched into 2020 with hope. Then it all went to shit, excuse my French. It is weird to think that another full year has passed since 2020 and I have to rack my brain to think of what exactly happened in 2021. What I do know is that I am tired, and the ever lingering feelings of unfulfillment have intensified and come to the surface so strongly that they can no longer be ignored. Dissatisfaction and exhaustion pervade every thought, every moment, every day.

One benefit of this blog is that I can look back on the year through my posts. By reviewing the posts I can jog my memory about what actually did happen. In summary, I was unhappy and burnt out.

Sad Girl: I wrote this post in February, and it is a sad summary of just how I was feeling early on a random Sunday. No need to sugar coat it; I was depressed.

Lunch at the Mediterranean: In this post I wrote yet again of my diet and exercise woes, this time my latest attempt at healthy eating by adopting a Mediterranean diet. I am happy to say that I did stick to a healthy-ish diet. For most of the year I greatly simplified my diet; oatmeal with oat milk, blueberries, chia seeds, boiled egg, honey for breakfast every weekday morning; then salmon, spinach, corn, and pancake waffles for dinner. C’est tout. I like routine, and this removes the stress of thinking of what to eat each day. I also enjoyed these meals and actually look forward to my breakfast each day. I also increased my water intake. I did this for months and did not even realise I had shed off the weight and bloat of the past couple of years (especially lockdown) until my friend pointed it out. Sure, I noticed some of my clothes fit better, and I no longer felt as if I was suffocating and my face was no longer a cesspit of pimples. It felt good to be able to do this, especially with no exercise as God knows I was not going to keep it up. I realised that my body does not like refined carbs (I think that’s what they are called) and will revolt viciously. All she wants is fibre and protein.

A new enemy: I was still on the healthy eating track, but I had a week of eating pasta and my skin paid dearly for it. I then realised with a heavy heart that I had to add pasta, rice and white bread to the no eat list (well, the no eat everyday list). At one point in my life, I was eating some combination of bread, rice, pasta, pastry, dough every single day! Wow. I realise now the havoc that wreaked on my waistline and skin.

Waiting for something to happen: One of my favourite quotes from the book-Madame Bovary. It so clearly encapsulates my feelings about life, and my constant longing for more.

Five years later: In this I took stock of my life, five years on from an earlier post. Of course I was disappointed.

Worry worry baby: Another post in which I complained about life, my job, and my propensity to worry. I remember the day I wrote this and the intense feeling of irritation and annoyance that led to this. I have spent ages complaining about my job. It’s time to move on.

el oo vee ee: I had a e-crush and it was nice to have someone to remotely fawn over and stalk on social media. Of course this didn’t last long but it was nice while it lasted.

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?: I got vaccinated with no fuss.

It’s not enough!: Another post expressing my tiredness and dissatisfaction with the brevity of the weekend. I found this wonderful quote which definitely resonated with me.
“Your rest is not rest. You are resting so that you can work. You are working so that you can rest. You are caught up in a circle.”
― Shunya

Third time’s the charm?: A last baking hurrah, in which I confronted an arch nemesis (orange pound cake) and won…somewhat.

Outside is open and I am lonely again.: Lockdown was lifted, and while all the normal people celebrated, I felt the resurgence of my feelings of loneliness and FOMO. With lockdown, everyone was at home, and there as no pressure to socialise; it was not embarrassing to not have a response to “what did you do over the weekend?” Outside was open and everyone was in full social mode again (some people never stopped).

War on drugs: Just Stop.: I finally realised and admitted to myself I had an addiction to sugar which is as bad as any other addiction. As they say, the first step is realising you have a problem and this truly was a revelation.

Inertia: More complaint about my life and work; the suffocating stagnancy.

Woman in Black//Who Killed Alfred Oliver?: We outside!!!! I saw two plays for the first time since lockdown. The second one was cancelled after I saw it as half of the four cast members came down with covid. I also finally saw Phantom of the Opera but didn’t write a post on it. I didn’t write as much in 2021 (even though that was one of my goals); I did manage to write each month, but some months have only one/two posts.

Note to self: Final post of the year. I ordered some flowers for myself and included a message. I really liked it so I copied it out into a post for posterity.

My posts in 2021 have a sad depressing theme and they all revolve around loneliness and wanting more. I definitely need to switch careers because I am dead on the inside and cannot do this anymore.

My motto for 2022 is CHANGE. I need to leave my comfort zone and EVOLVE. Rather than making resolutions, I want to make proclamations. In 2022;
I will get a new job,
I will get a new place to live; one suitable to my needs
I will take care of myself more; eat healthy and exercise more
I will have regular trips to the salon
I will finish a draft of one of the many unfinished pieces of work in my computer
I will complete my application for permanent residency.
I will look feed my creative juices

I am too tired to be optimistic, but these things absolutely need to happen for my sanity. New Year New Me; I mean it this time. So help me God.

Note to self: Happiness is just around the corner. God is with you.

Happy new year!