Dog-tired and Procrastinating More Than Usual?! ….. You Are Not Alone!

This summer’s heat has kicked my butt! And the hot flashes have not helped!

I swore – on my mother and a stack of Bibles – that the very min-ute I had a steady income, I would conquer the world, also known as get 38 books finished, make all the accompanying videos, touch a zillion lives, amass a fortune…

Yet every day after work, I was an exhausted, melted mess. “Oh my God,” went my self-talk, “I am the biggest loser / failure that ever lived….!” I was so-o-o-o frustrated until I started talkin’ to my girlfriends who know about stuff and whom are my age.

“Yes, it’s the heat,” they all said. I was so relieved! I hadn’t been able to understand what my deal was, now that I had plenty to eat, could pay bills on time and had a little wiggle room (also known as bean burritos with extra cheese, annnnn-ny time I want! Whoo-hoo! [and it shows on my waistline, but hey: Eat, Pray, Love!] ).

Yesterday, during another conversation, I discussed with my Cali pal how I set my financial intention everyday and have learned to hear my inner voice more clearly to achieve my money goals … ‘Wait!’ I thought. ‘Let me do the same with my energy level!’ and went to bed. Woke up at 5:30 a.m. to the sound of rain, which meant it was much cooler and for the first time in months, I would be comfortable while driving all over the city! Yeyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!

(I have been 100 trillion percent miserable: soaked within 5 minutes of stepping out the door, then the van’s air conditioning freezes me to death because my clothes are damp and the cold air blowing sears my skin…[boo-hoo-hoo, lol] ).

Got ready with high expectations and excitement; I only needed $73 more to pay this week’s cab rent and buy a few groceries. Logged into dispatch at 6:38 a.m. and went to see if I could get loaded downtown. One hour yielded nothin’, which ordinarily wouldn’t fluster me a bit… yet today, I wasn’t just sad, I was reeeeeeal-ly sad… not to mention that the lower temperature was supposed to make this a VERY HAPPY DAY; precipitation was supposed to make it a very pro-fitable day… but it was stinkin’ to high heaven! What the heck?! Even after I ate a little food, I still couldn’t shake the icky feelings… to top it off, the people that finally boarded my cab (FIVE HOURS AFTER I STARTED TODAY, GRRRRRR!) weren’t very social no matter what I tried and snapped at me for taking the route they told me to take rather than the way I wanted to go…

I dropped them off, started questioning, and it hit me: I just had the heaviest cycle I’ve had in decades, thus, I was low on iron! It was that simple!

So, just know / remember that

  1. Nearly every woman our age is sluggish in hot, humid weather (pre-menopause doubles the effect for me!).
  2. Recall how energized you are in winter.
  3. Be patient; do what you can when you can; your empirical plans ain’t goin’ anywhere.
  4. Ask yourself what nutrients you may be missing: the Bs? iron? protein? then consume the best source of them that you can…                                                                                                           – ttys, Hil

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Life in the Fast Lane

So, one night (23 Jan ’13, Weds to be exact ;), I couldn’t sleep… then I still couldn’t sleep… not to mention I was out of tobacco (which is still harrowing)! Finally, it was almost time to get up! ‘Might as well go do temp labor,’ I thought.

Got there at 5:30, found someone with nicotine by 5:45. I was so relieved, I didn’t care what happened the rest of the day, PLUS, I was first in line, which sometimes makes a difference in where one gets sent.

I got assigned to go work on the turnpike… unique and different but really not that significant. Waterproof boots, vest, gloves and hardhat were required (rental and purchase cost me $3.50!). Went to take my drug test; passed, of course. Got to the location, had to drive over God-knows-what to park in the grass… One of the supervisers picked me up to drive me to my ‘station’ on the 8-mile project. He tailgated as the sun streamed right into his eyes while I held tightly to my seatbelt!

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About 2 years ago, the same temp agency had sent me 45 minutes away to another road project. I was too honest not to confess to the supervisor that I wasn’t certified for the big machine that spews out water in preparation for the mud-smoothing vehicle, and got sent back. Well (!), the guy at the wheel on this day was the same guy from long-ago and, BOY was I glad I had told the truth back when!

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In any case, I got dropped off and instructed to pry off cement scraps from the vertical part of the curb as part of the cleaning process before they lay the ‘carpet’, which goes under cement, tar and whatever other layers…

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I had assumed that, being between the west- and eastbound lanes of a major turnpike, I would have to focus and tune it all out, BUT, crazily enough, it was very peaceful! I did have a touch of anxiety about the possibility of an out-of-control driver careening into the median, but managed to keep it at a manageable level (not to mention, it was one of the most beautiful days, weather-wise, you’ve ever seen! [which meant that the Port-A-Potty was only half the ordeal it is usually 😉 ] ).

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The great thing about day labor work is that you get into a rhythm and because it’s repetitive, you can all but meditate… This particular site is so long that the nearest other worker was hundreds of yards away. I sang, I screamed, I swore and had the time of my life!

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Shortly, I was like, OMG! how many times in one’s life does one get to work in the middle of the turnpike?! and started snapping pics. My second task was to consolidate cement scrap piles. This is before I started:

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This is after:

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By and by the burrito truck arrived and I promise, it was the best one I’ve had in years (kinda like when ya have hot dogs at camp, ya know?)!

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Pretty soon, they ran out of stuff for me to do and transported back to my car. I already felt jubilant, what with being outside and being able to fully raise my voice (I would never in my condo [don’t get excited, it’s an efficiency, lol (and all the kingdom I need right now) ] because I don’t wanna disturb my neighbors…). Another part of mustering all my wherewithal to go do what  I usually dread is that, once I’m clocked in, all the screaming about ‘WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO TO PAY BILLS???!!!’ stops because I’m doing it. 😀

The guy who signed off paid me for two extra hours, which sent me further into joy… So, if you ever have a chance, you gotta do it, at least once. Lesson for me: what I feared would be another soul-annihilating day turned out to be amazing, and an opportunity for me to loudly proclaim and express melodies without causing another mental anguish or getting arrested for damaging their hearing. 😉

To Yin or Not to Yin: a Life-changing Epiphany…

…I had while lugging big pieces of construction debris several yards to an industrial dumpster.

The skylight job boss requested me for the next day’s work but alas, I got ‘sick’ for the first time in 7 years (!) and couldn’t go… when I felt a little better, the temp agency guy said he had work, which I presumed was the skylight job. It was 26 degrees, so I donned my Coveralls [see Pie in the Sky! for the photo of this man-magnetizing garment 😉 ]. By the time I found out it was a McDonald’s remodel, I had already committed and, as mentioned in the tagline, there was a huge pile of heavy, bulky stuff that needed to be dragged to the big trash bin…

One piece in particular, a 3 x 6 foot wood pallet with cardboard sides nailed to it, was ree-DIQUE-u-lously heavy. I couldn’t pry the cardboard off nor could I move it very far very fast. I got more and more frustrated and asked finally myself WHY I kept punishing myself by doing these icky, backbreaking jobs (!). (Part of it is my fear that they’re the only thing available and that’s legitimate; I have applied – see video 1 – for all kinds of stuff, all over this town and I swear, not one company for which I filled out an application called me back. Musta been my green hair and 5 nose piercings… not!)

Background: every time the temp agency man talks to one of the bosses about me, he tells them I work as hard as any man (and I smugly agree to myself in my most toughguy inside voice: “Yeah!” while conjuring up the feeling of curling my arm to make my bicep bulge), and it’s true: I work very hard and have oft felt so proud that I keep up with 20-something-year-olds on job sites. Yet, as I fought with that cardboard-sided pallet, while miserably sore-throat coughing, it hit me:

I was out in the work force being the ‘MAN’!!!!

Why? Because it’s all I knew! I had been my kids’ ‘dad’ as much as a woman could while raising them and it had become my default tendency!!! OMG! I realized right then and there that I was SICK and TIRED of being the MAN! (And oh, how it had affected the guys I attract!) I decided I don’t have to be the man anymore, in public or private, at work or at play. What a RELIEF! I was OVERJOYED to unearth my two-decades-long pattern / habit. More good news: just after making my discovery, a real male from the temp agency arrived to lift the stuff I could not. He is a great guy with a positive attitude; working with him really lifted my spirits, AND, as a bonus, he is going to change my oil for only $20! The strain and strife was worth it to realize, at my tender age (ha ha ha HA!) that I can be my feminine, womanly self. 😀

Pie in the Sky!

So, unable to face another facility (aka Port-A-Potty) in 25-degree weather, I slept in ’til 8 o’clock one morning. The temp agency guy called, asked if I wanted to work (dreadful thought but with bills to pay and nothin’ else goin’…), said I would hug him when he gave me my assignment.

Turned out to be on top of a 6-floor hotel, helping to install skylights for $10 an hour. Yeyyyy! (Yes, I hugged him!) I was dressed really warmly and knew that beneath me, whenever I desired it, were indoor plumbing and running water!

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My primary tasks were to clean up the original pressure bars, into which the plexiglass panels are fitted.

I got to use a special drill to bolt each pressure bar to a 2 x 4 wood plank.

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Then, I used a wide electric knife to shave old caulking off of one side and a narrow knife to remove a tar-like substance from the other side. Electric knives are the coolest things EVER! (Did I mention that I’m a tool addict?!) Bzzzzz! and off goes the old stuff!

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Very little heavy lifting! Mostly precise, cosmetic work, which I enjoy so much.

There was a feeling of freedom, being up above the rest of the world.
The views were awesome.

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The hotel is beautiful.

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It took everything I had not to jump into the jacuzzi, coveralls and all. 🙂

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What I learned:

1. There are outside jobs that pay decently.
2. They aren’t all backbreaking.
3. They aren’t all dusty and dirty.
4. One can always add a little pizzazz or glamour, no matter what (note the scarf ;).

5. Often, the co-workers are nice, fun to work with and have good senses of humor.
6. If they swear in my presence, it doesn’t mean I’m not worthy of respect; it’s just how they speak.