I have discovered the key to being happy at work — I have to be busy. When I have a “paperwork day,” I end up goofing around and not getting anything done. When I have inmates scheduled all day, I’m all over it and get everything on my “to-do” list done. That overwhelmed feeling that happens when I have a bunch of paperwork to do and also a lot of inmates to see will happen and I just have to accept that. I have to accept that I don’t do well with unstructured time — especially not an entire eight hours of unstructured time. It may be somewhat stressful some days to do all of my paperwork AND see inmates all day, but it usually means that I feel good at the end of the day, like I have been productive, and it’s totally do-able. I have found that if I see people every half hour, that leaves me about ten minutes at the end of every appointment to do the note and post it, and I can get my other paperwork done when the inmates are on lockdown. I wish it hadn’t taken this long to figure it out, but I’m glad that I did. Giving myself an entire day to just to paperwork = extreme laziness and goofing off. Duh. 😀
Dr. Love has been in MB since Monday night and I am soooo ready for him to come home! We went there this past weekend (as I posted before), and his dad was telling me on Saturday morning that he was going to give Dr. Love a bunch of money. I suggested to him that he do it as a loan and not just give it to Dr. Love, as this causes Dr. Love to feel bad, having money thrown at him instead of giving him real help. I suggested that Dr. Love’s self-esteem would be well-served if he wasn’t getting money for nothing, that he should know he is expected to pay it back. Well, that went way over his dad’s head — he said there was no way he could ever “loan” money, that it was his “responsibility” to be sure that Dr. Love is taken care of. I didn’t get into it with him like I would have liked to, but I made it clear that this type of situation doesn’t make Dr. Love feel better, it makes him feel worse. Long story short, the next day his dad told Dr. Love that he had some work that needed to be done around the house and he would like for Matt to come up for a few days each week and get it done.
Okay, not exactly what I had hoped for, Dr. Love being in MB for a three-day stretch, doing chores at his parents’ house when there is plenty to be done around here, but I suppose that I can begrudgingly admit that this solves the problem, at least somewhat, of his parents just throwing money at him with nothing expected in return. To be selfish, I would like Dr. Love to stick around here and just pay his parents back, so that he’s not away and I have to miss him. However, absence does make the heart grow fonder, and I believe that has happened on both sides.
It has also given me some reassurance that I can survive “on my own,” which I was unsure of. Granted, it has only been a few days, but I have really come to depend on Dr. Love for a lot of things, especially emotional support. It is perfectly normal to not want someone to be away that you really care about and to worry about what you will do without them. I have spent a lot of time “on my own” for years, months, weeks at a time and have done just fine. But I am so used to having Dr. Love around that I think I needed to be reminded that I can still take care of business if left to my own devices. Of course, I am much happier when he is around, but at least I know I can make it without losing my sanity when he is not around.
I have noticed myself slipping into some bad habits to numb myself, to slip away from reality while still appearing to be engaged in reality. When I go for long periods without eating, or go for long periods without sleeping, or wait until late at night to take my meds, my head gets pretty fuzzy. To me, it’s a pleasant sensation, one that I seek out. I can just hide out inside my head and not be connected to what is going on around me — I can be totally oblivious. This is not healthy for me mentally or physically, I realize. With the not eating, I walk a fine line around my eating habits become more disordered than they already are. With the not sleeping, I take a gamble on my mental health, and when I don’t take my meds until late, I mess up my schedule. I am working at being engaged in the moment as an opposite-to-emotion practice. In fact, I have been doing a lot of opposite-to-emotion, when I am not busy being willful.
Over the past little bit that Dr. Love has been gone, I have filled up my time with things that I used to do all of the time that I enjoy — blogging, reading my favorite blogs, surfing the Internet, spending time with QoB and the Big Dog, meditating — it’s something I’d like to keep up with when Dr. Love returns. It’s one thing to want to spend time together, but, as Dr. Love is always quick to point out, we don’t have to spend every single moment together. I think I have realized that more since he has been gone, and am going to go back to doing things that I like to do, things that we can’t necessarily do together. It’s always good to have “me” time, and I have been neglecting to do that, especially because it is hard to do when we are always at home at the same time.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Learning to Fly