A big bunch of boxes

My situation is not quite this extreme, but sometimes it feels like it

I went a little off the rails, a couple of weeks ago. I decided I needed some new computer equipment, and I bought a couple of items I’d had my eye on at Amazon for some time. I knew I had the money, and I got a deal, so I went for it.

The only problem was, I forgot that A) My spouse had just paid off a bunch of bills that drained our bank balance, and B) I had moved money into our savings account. Saving occasionally is on my to-do list. I used to direct deposit $50 into savings each month, but then things got very tight for a few years,and I had to stop even that.

Yes, we were living close to the bone. Since getting back, I still have this sinking sense of dread that catastrophe is just around the corner. It’s not true, but I feel like I need to be constantly prepared for disaster. So, I haven’t done the regular direct deposit, recently. Even a little bit helps. … Actually, let me fix that now.

Okay, I’m back. I’m putting a little bit aside with each paycheck, now. That feels better. It’s not a ton of money, but it can add up.

Anyway, as it turned out, last week, I really miscalculated about how much money I had on hand. Not only did I spend more than I had on that equipment, but I also spent more than I should have on a couple of side projects I’ve been doing. For some reason, I was convinced that I had $5,000 more to my name, than I did. And the bank was kind enough to inform me of my miscalculation.

I fixed the problem, then it happened again.

More overdraft charges from the bank. Good grief.

A series of confused choices commenced, with me transferring money to and from the wrong accounts, and completely screwing up my mortgage payment. My susceptibility to short-term interference really bit me in the ass, in the space of only a few minutes. It’s crazy. Unless I write stuff down and keep referring to it, it might as well have never even entered my mind. It can evaporate in a matter of minutes — sometimes seconds.

Thanks to the magic of online transfers and a 30-day grace period, I eventually managed to sort things out, but it was a comedy of errors there for a while. I got so confused about which account was which, even though I was looking right at everything on the screen in front of me, and I thought I was 100% clear, each time I set up a transfer. I did it wrong three or four times, before I was able to get it right. And just now, when I looked at my pending transactions, I realized that I’d actually cancelled the mortgage payment transfer. So, I set that up again.

It wasn’t that difficult, but for some reason, my head got completely turned around. I’m still a little fuzzy about it. I’ll check again later this week, when I’ve gotten some more sleep.

It’s all sorted out, now. At least, I hope so. And … getting back to my original subject… I have the new computer equipment I have been needing. And I now have a bunch of boxes I have to figure out what to do with.

The equipment was shipped to me as boxes within boxes. And a bunch of packing stuff to go with it. What the heck? How many boxes do you need? I have them stacked in in front of my bookcases, awaiting their fate.

Not that this is a bad problem. I have shelves full of crap books and papers that I have not used or looked at for years. I’ve moved things around a bit, but I haven’t actually used them. Not the way I used to, years ago. But fortunately, with these boxes, I have a solution – at least in part. I can put some of that stuff under my bed in the narrower cartons. It’s an elegant solution, really. Space is at a premium in this house, and I’ve long felt that space under beds is best used for things other than gathering dust.

So, there’s one solution.

Now I just have to choose what goes there. That’s another question.

As you can probably tell, I’m still in quandary-mode over how best to organize my workspace in my study. I’m incredibly fortunate to even have a study.  It’s mine, all mine, and it’s my sanctuary. It’s a cluttered sanctuary, but I’m not convinced that’s necessarily a bad thing. But with freedom comes responsibility, and I’ve been so caught up in all my projects for the past six months (if not more), that I’ve ditched a lot of the responsibility and let things slide.

With the end result being that I have a lot of stuff that needs to be rearranged and put in proper order – stat. So, I’m working at it a little bit at a time. Not making myself nuts over it, but trying to be smart. A little goes a long way, actually, and that’s a good thing.

Enough talk. Time to solve some stuff. And go for a long walk on this beautiful day. And get a nap.

Onward.

More space needed

Onward... Upward... Outward...

I’m working from home today, and I’ve noticed something interesting – I need more space.

The office I have at home, as nice as it is, is feeling small.

The places around the house where I usually work are also feeling small.

Even the areas that I have marked out as mine (which is a rare and deeply appreciated luxury) feel cramped.

I need more space.

It’s not that I’m greedy – if anything, I like to do with less. I have always felt that the less I need, the stronger and more secure I am. But with the days getting longer and the weather getting nicer, I’m feeling this strong push to move out, to get out, to expand and extend and try new things.

Move into new and different spaces.

Do something a little different.

And spread out a whole lot more than I have ever allowed myself to do.

See, here’s the thing…

Ever since I realized that the pattern I have of not being able to stick it out with jobs was NOT about me being deficient or slacking… ever since I “got it” that the things driving my interests and intentions have been intricately connected with how my brain works, and how my body works, too… ever since I realized that I don’t HAVE to repeat all my old patterns of never being able to stay at one job for longer than a year or two, and that I don’t have to get all worked up and tweaked and bent out of shape over work-related things, as well as people-related things… Well, something has changed.

Something has loosened up.

Something has expanded.

And I don’t want to spend all my time cooped up inside a building, in an office, in one place and one place only, day in and day out. I need to move. I need to expand. And I need to do this with the work I am doing and the life I am living — not ditch the situation I’m in now, and move on to what’s next.

It’s ironic, really — the stronger my comfort level with where I am, the more I want to really dive in and expand and evolve what I’ve got. I want to add more dimensions to my work. I want to develop a deeper understanding of the people I work with and a strong connection with my work itself. I have so much going on, day in and day out. What I need most, is not so much a break from the activity, as a deeper understanding and appreciation of what it is I’m doing — and why.

I can’t see going through life with the same tightness and uptightness I’ve been caught up in, for so long. As long as I can remember, I’ve been uptight. Having all sorts of sensory issues, where my body feels like it’s alternately being attacked by the outside world, and then attacking me, hasn’t helped. Nor has the anxiety and agitation and constant restlessness and fatigue and confusion that comes with TBI and all the stuff that follows on it.

But even though I still have my issues (boy, did I ever sleep wrong last night – my neck is KILLING me! – and I’m bone-tired from not getting enough sleep), they don’t throw me like they used to. I am doing much better about just realizing that they’re there, letting them be, and just managing them. Taking a nap. Doing some relaxation. Reminding myself that it’s just my “stuff” acting up again.

And not letting it get to me.

It’s actually pretty amazing, if I think about it. After a lifetime of hassle and worry and tension and stress over this stuff, suddenly, it’s not this horrific drama anymore. After being literally locked away in habits and behaviors that I never questioned, just went with, I suddenly have choices about how to live my life, how to respond to it, how to keep myself going, in the face of even the most problematic issues. Things like trying to function on 4 hours of sleep, trying to navigate messed-up finances, trying to patch back together relationships that have frayed and strained to the breaking point, and functioning in a high-stress, fast-paced work environment… I can handle them. I really can.

Which opens up a whole lot of possibilities for me. Possibilities to just live my life, instead of having to struggle through. Possibilities of being able to actually enjoy my life, instead of laboring from one problem to the next. Possibilities of seeing what all I can get out of situations, and what all I can put into them, instead of just enduring till the bitter end.

And with this new expansiveness, I really feel the need for more space… to get out of my office and out in the day… to stop following the exact same route to work each day, and experiment with other routes on my way home… to step outside my daily rituals and routines and improvise a little. Riff a little. Kick back and innovate a little.

It’s all good, and it’s all happening.

I’m getting more space.

At last.