30 Days of Creativity: Day 16

It’s been a long time since I last did a 30 Days of Creativity post.  What I am showing you today are a couple of cards that I made with a friend of mine.  I originally did them as thank you cards (fortunately I didn’t stamp the inside) for my awesome doctors in case I got the teaching job I had applied for, which we now know better.  Never count your chickens before they are hatched!  Oh well, lesson learned.

These are a couple of basic cards (I’m a basic girl) that were stamped with House Mouse stamps and then colored with colored pencils.

  This is one way to make a small stamp work on a big (in this case, standard) size card.  Another method for doing this is to make a border by layering the small stamp piece onto a larger piece of card stock (or more than one for a multi-border look) before mounting it on the card.  Since the original is almost square, I decided to do this as an off-center piece.  The multilayer look works better for wider stamp images and then you can put it on to the card oriented in the other direction, or whichever way works best for the card.  (If it’s a tall stamp, then by all means, use the tall direction!)

 

For this second card, I stamped directly on to the card itself.  I prefer this method with larger stamps, even though it is a risk.  In this case, part of the foot and tail didn’t stamp properly, but I went over the lines with an extra fine marker, and personally, I can’t tell the difference without looking closely.  Although the picture doesn’t really look it, I stamped the card on ivory cardstock, then I had to color the ice cube with a white colored pencil to make it stand out.  I was surprised that it actually worked!  There is a very slight difference, but I like the look.  The other thing I did was to tear apart a cotton swab in order to get the “fluff” to glue onto the card.  The photo doesn’t show it, but there is a drawing of the fluff under the cotton, so it’s like an outline for where to put your glue.  This gives the card a little bit of a 3-D look.  Those who are more ambitious than I would go and make the mice and pills 3-D but I find that to be too much work.  These cards took me over two hours to create.  It’s a fun but expensive and time-consuming hobby!  It’s more fun if you have a friend to do it with too.

Just as an aside, if you plan on making a 3-D card to mail, then take it to the post office.  Often the extra “bulk” will make the card cost more to mail.

I hope you enjoyed today’s creativity post!

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Never Heard Back

I know some of you were waiting to hear how that job interview turned out. Well, guess what? They never told me. Anything. Since classes started yesterday and I am still 1400 miles away, I am guessing that I didn’t get the job. A friend of mine said it was ‘tacky’ of them not to get back to me. Whatever. I don’t think I’d want to work at a place that disorganized and inconsiderate.

And so here I sit, wondering where to go next.

I wonder what jobs are available for an intelligent, over-educated, opinionated, middle-aged woman. Yes, I have to confess that I am middle-aged now, and wondering if things will ever get crossed off my bucket list. (I still want to go to Scotland and New Zealand, and dozens of other places.) If only I hadn’t screwed up this last job with my 4 weeks of vacation and $120k paycheck. But my mental health is much better by not working there. So the real question is: what is the price of mental health?

Oh, now that’s a topic that should be a blog post all by itself.

Bucket-list is another blog topic too.

Guess I’m just brainstorming now. Wait, that’s out of fashion. Oh well.

My left arm is bothering me today. I’ve got a dull ache in my shoulder and down the arm, with tingling in the hand. No, it’s not a heart attack. At least, not very likely. I’ve been to the ER on several occasions under similar circumstances and my heart is fine. Stress test is fine. What’s not fine is the damn neuropathy and ‘probable’ MS. It could also be that my shoulder is so cramped up from stress and what have you that it’s putting pressure on a nerve. That’s what it feels the most like. I wish I could afford to go back to my massage therapist!

Blah. My life is still boring, that’s why I haven’t written anything. I did make a couple of cute cards so I’ll post those with a 30 days of creativity post. Soon. No, really, soon.

So what should I talk about? I’m really doing a poor job of creating a post today. I’m all rambley and stuff. Brainstorming. That’s it. It may not be cool anymore but I still like it.

Any ideas out there as to what I should write about? My life is pretty dull. 😦

And my arm hurts. Bummer.


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Applications

I hate filling out applications. It becomes so disheartening. They always ask: What was your reason for leaving?  I got fired, OK?  It’s more than that, my therapist even said so, but that’s the short answer.  I was let go.  That sounds so much better than I was fired.  At least when you are let go you get unemployment.  And believe me, unemployment helps.

Let me recap my experiences for you:

I lost one because of my bipolar.  I was dumb enough to tell them about my Multiple Sclerosis and bipolar diagnoses.  The company was in the process of downsizing anyway and they couldn’t count on me to be in the office with my medical issues. I sued them unsuccessfully.  This is why I will never tell another employer about my bipolar.

I lost my academic position because of sexual discrimination.  I had always suspected it was an administrative decision, but one of my former students came across a memo from the dean to the chair stating that they were impressed with my progress as a teacher.  This was less than six months (including summer) before I was berated by my department chair for poor student evaluations.  I also learned from another student that my evaluations were not as bad as stated because he had seen them.  He also found out that the chair had the good ones removed and shredded.  Can you believe this?  I considered suing the university for sexual discrimination but decided against it.  After all I was going on to a $100+k job – it wasn’t worth my time and effort.  Everyone knew that I deserved to have my contract renewed – except the people who had the power to make such decisions.  Part of me berates myself for losing that job even though I didn’t do anything wrong.  I stood up for myself, my students, and what I thought was right.  I rubbed the wrong feathers the wrong way.  I don’t regret what I did there.  But as a friend of mine put it, if you rise above the rest, someone is likely to chop your head off.

I really blame myself for this last job.  I couldn’t handle the people, the pressure, the work.  I was out of my element and I hated what I was doing.  All my mental illnesses began to implode as I worked with the narcissist and his henchman.  I lost grip on reality and I lost my grip on myself.  The harder I tried to hold on, the more my illnesses bled through, mixing into the pot of bad blood between my coworkers and myself.  My PTSD skyrocketed.  I started having nightmares several times a week.  I was afraid to go to work.  When I was there, I couldn’t concentrate.  Something would happen and I would be out working off my temper or crying in a friend’s office.  I wasn’t effective.  I couldn’t be effective.  Add to all that my injuries and several work-related relapses, they determined I was no longer fit for duty.  I hadn’t been fit for duty for a while.  I should have been out on mental health leave a year earlier.  Maybe none of this would have happened then.  My wrist wouldn’t have been injured and maybe my right arm would have been fixed sooner.  I don’t know if either will ever be 100%.  I gave too much of my soul to this job for the sake of a lucrative paycheck and a little prestige.

Now I’m filling out applications again.  And faced with the question: What was your reason for leaving?  You can’t write: sexual discrimination. You can’t write: forced out for medical reasons. So sugar-coat it and call it contract not renewed, received other offer, company downsizing. What else can I write? I wasn’t needed, I wasn’t wanted anymore. End of story. But that’s difficult to handle, even when your therapist says, “it wasn’t your fault.” Because yes, some of it is my fault. It’s my fault for not trying harder. It’s my fault for letting people get under my skin. It’s my fault for being dumb enough to share personal information. Information is a weapon. This is why I write anonymously.

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

No Word Yet

Well, I’m getting pretty anxious here. I still haven’t heard from the college and I’m starting to get depressed. (It doesn’t help that I woke up with a stomachache and haven’t felt well all day.) I know, I know, administration can take their time, but really, I should have heard by now. Most of the day is over on the East coast.

What I don’t understand is why. Why am I not getting jobs? I’m getting interviews, but not jobs. Where am I going wrong? I used to never have this problem. If I interviewed, I got the job. But I was usually hypomanic. I’m not hypomanic. I am boring old stable me. Should I go off my meds? Would that help?

I just don’t get it. I know, I know, they still might call. But my hopes are dwindling by the minute. And here I got my car repaired ‘just in case’. I’ve been pre-planning ‘just in case’. I know I said I wasn’t going to count my chickens before they are hatched, but I was counting eggs and trying to find room in the coop for the chickens ‘just in case’. I feel like smashing all the eggs right now.

Sorry, I’m just not in a good mood today. My BFF is on her way over soon so hopefully that will cheer me up. I don’t know what to do. Will I ever teach again? Or are people meeting me and wondering about my age? I always thought that was more of a problem in industry than academia, but maybe I’m wrong. Or is it something else? I sometimes feel like they can look at me and see that I am crazy. Is there a big sticker on my forehead?

I am so sick and tired of being unemployed. I hate this. I hate waiting. I hate today. 😦

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Conference

Three busy days. There were supposed to be four, but I had to leave early in order to go to a job interview across the country. I got the student housing rate for the conference and I had a roommate for two of the nights. It was weird, but OK. She said something wrong in her talk, but I didn’t correct her. Not my place, actually. That and she came back after I had already gone to bed.

I did run into Dr. Bastard. All he did was nod and say hello. No scene, no conversation, nothing. Oh well, what was I expecting? I had no idea. He got what he wanted (me out of his lab) and I had my own business to attend to. At least he wasn’t nosy or nasty. Just cheerful as if he had met any other colleague, except he didn’t stop to talk my ear off like he would have with someone else.

But you know, when I saw him, I kept trying to think of what my therapist said, “He’s a pathetic man.” And I just kept thinking about that. There was one point, during one of the receptions, I could see him across the room and I’m pretty sure he could see me, that I developed some of that old fear. But then I was talking and laughing with a group of our peers. He might have just been jealous. I did avoid going back for some of the good food just so I wouldn’t have to go to near him. Cowardly of me, I know. But I think when we are faced with our abusers we tend to retreat into the shadows, hoping not to be seen, rather than to confront them. I had no intention of confronting Dr. B, but I do wish I hadn’t been so fearful as to avoid looking at some of the posters just because they were near by. Time will heal this wound too.

I did run into and talk to one of the other people from my former workplace. He’s someone who wants to be a nice guy but has some complicated mental issues. I don’t know exactly what his problems are, but I was told that he has periods when he is “off his meds” and can be extremely difficult -more than usual- to deal with. He has issues with touching (so he and I did not get along at first) and he has some attitude issues sometimes. He doesn’t respect female bosses, he told me that himself. He’s really smart and despite all his eccentricities, I really respect him as a scientist. I had sent him an email to that effect before he retired and I “left” but I didn’t know if he got it. So when I saw him, I told him again. I wanted him to know that I respected him. I don’t know why I felt that was so important, but it was to me. He thanked me, and then tried to change the subject, because I think he is uncomfortable with compliments.

I gave out five copies of my resume and several copies of my card. (Make your own business cards.) I did two interviews (with the same company) and talked to a couple of others. (It is a VERY small conference.) I didn’t get the chance to enjoy the conference part of it as much as I would like to have, but I went there for job searching and networking so I accomplished my goal.

Overall, it wasn’t a negative experience. And I am thankful for that. Maybe next time I won’t be too afraid to go over and view the posters that he is hovering around. Or better yet, maybe he won’t be there next time I get to go to it. I’m sure there will be a next time, just who knows when. 🙂

As an aside… no amount of ADD medicine can help you pay attention through a boring or incomprehensible talk!

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

30 Days of Thanks: Day 6

I have a lot to be thankful for right now. As I sit perched upon the edge of my seat, waiting to hear if I will get an offer from the college, I want to express my thanks to the powers that be for the luck I’ve had so far. I had a job interview at the conference for a company, and I had a job interview from a college. I am well and truly hoping I get the college teaching job. I don’t know what it will pay, but those things may be negotiable. I am just very thankful that I got this far in the interview process.

Even though it is rush timing, I really want this teaching job. The school is great, the people seem good, although I couldn’t read them very well, so I don’t know what they thought of me. I’m really not good at interviewing without hypomania. But then this is the job that I thought I really screwed up the phone interview, so maybe they like me well enough.  I certainly hope so.  They are making their decision today, so I am extra nervous.  I should hear something (good or bad) by the end of the week.

The industry position would be a nice backup option.  It contains a lot of sales, so the salary is not great and you work partially on commission.  I can sell anything I believe in.  But I don’t see myself being in a sales position with high travel (up to 50%) for a long period of time.  I’m too old for that, and I think all my medications it would be a hindrance.  A job is a job and you can’t complain about being employed these days even if it isn’t your favorite type of job.

I sort of got off on a couple of tangents there, but really I wanted to express my gratitude for the opportunities I’ve been given thus far.  I hope it works out so that I can write another day of thanks for a new job soon!

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A Whirlwind Week!

I haven’t written in almost a week for two reasons: 1) it’s been extremely busy, and 2) I forgot my password to log on to WordPress. So how am I writing now?  My browser remembers the password, I clearly don’t.  My phone remembers too, which is how I did my last post.  But I have a hard time with typing a lot on my phone so I didn’t write any more posts.  There is so much to share but first I must decompress.  A week ago, I was on a ranch, shooting a tin can.  Since then, I’ve gone to a conference, done three interviews, and flown back and forth across the country.  I’ll catch you all up as soon as I catch my breath! 🙂

 

Shooting

What a wonderful feeling it is to shoot a gun. It’s empowering. I can never own a gun because I’m bipolar, but that doesn’t mean I can’t shoot one under safe and controlled conditions.

I went shooting with some friends last weekend. It was fun. More fun than I remembered. We shot out on a ranch with 6 acres where the nearest neighbor is a 5 min walk. I shot a 45, a 22, and a rifle with a scope. Shot up a dog food can, a metal target and an old bowling pin. I even hit sometimes. 😉

I didn’t even think about the conference or what was coming up. I did at one point, try to envision Dr. Bastard’s face but after a few shots I realized I just didn’t care. I didn’t want him trespassing on my fun. Am I angry about the things he did? Yes. But he is a pathetic little man (therapist says so) and as such he doesn’t deserve my time. Not even worth the effort it takes to stay angry. And certainly it’s not worth letting him interfere with my fun.

So down with the dog food can and bowling pin! I don’t need to imagine anyone’s face. I don’t have that much anger in me. I’m trying to live in the moment and learn from the past. Not let the past dictate the present. I need to enjoy my fun without pathetic little people living in the back of my mind. So I’m kicking them out!

Let’s go forward!

(c) Manic Monday 2012

I Didn’t Screw Up!

If you’ve been following my unemployment saga, then you know that I was concerned about how poorly my last phone interview went. I just got a call that they want me to come in for a face-to-face interview! I am blown away!

Now, of course this amps up the pressure on me for the next week.  I have to pack for an extra day of interview wear (what to wear now!) and prepare a class.  I don’t have a class prepared.  Well, I do, but all my notes are in books in garage.  How to find them quickly?!?  (I know, stop typing and go look!  But I had to share this with you.)  I may not be stuck in industry after all!

Sadly, it means I will be stuck with an awkward move situation.  We have to move part of our household now, and the rest during Christmas break.  I have to find a place quickly and be able to move into it soon after I arrive.  DH will have to fly home for his own classes.  We will be separate for a semester.  Also, I have to leave all my friends. 😦  But I know that they will be happy for me.  I have to leave my house, which I love, for the unknown.

There’s lots of unknowns. It’s a yearly contract, 12-mo pay, but no tenure commitment, which is both good and bad.  No security, but no hassle. So there are pros and cons to this type of position.  I would get to teach again.  I would be involved.  I can create a legacy for myself.  And maybe that’s what I want most of all.  To know that when I pass, I have left something good behind.  Something worth remembering.  Even if it’s only for a generation.  Teachers can make such an impact, both good and bad, I want to be one of the good ones.  I know I did it before, so I can do it again.  This time, I’m a little wiser and I know how the game works.  Hopefully there’s no sexism, which is why I lost my last academic job.

I want a forever home and I want a forever job.  Maybe this is it. We will see soon enough.

https://i0.wp.com/blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/b-410124-people_happy_.jpg

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Frustrated Today

I’m frustrated.  I don’t even know where to begin.  It’s not like something big happened.  It’s the stress of a lot of little things.  And it probably doesn’t help that I haven’t been writing this blog.  This is my stress reliever.  But since I don’t want to burden anyone with my ‘poor, poor, pitiful me’ bit, I just don’t write.  It seems like I have to have something worth writing about.  And right now, all I’ve got is stress.  Why can’t they make a pill for stress?  They’ve got one for everything else.

So what am I so stressed about?  Well, DH is not here this week.  His mom paid for his ticket to come home for a week.  I leave on Saturday for a conference.  We overlapped our trips intentionally so that we wouldn’t have to kennel the dog as long.  Maybe that was a mistake.  It’s one thing to have DH spend a week away from me, it’s another when that week is right before I leave for my own trip.  I always get stressed out before I go on a trip.  I always have – at least I have for a long time.  It’s gotten worse over the years.  But travel anxiety spiked since 2009 when I we went on weekend trip and came home to find my cat had died.  That horrible memory is burned in my brain.  She was under the guest bed and DH saw her first.  When I looked under the bed I started screaming.  I don’t handle things like that very well.

So I think part of my problem when I travel is that episode is running through my subconscious, even though I have no reason to expect it to happen again.  But my travel stress dates back long before then – it just got worse after Luna’s passing.  Identifying that experience as part of my problem has helped a little, but I’m worked up already.  Worrying about packing, about how to apply for jobs when I’m not even home, making sure my resume is available, I have to make out business contact cards, taking the dog to the vet for his shots before he goes to the kennel.  Oh, and my debit card was declined today.  Probably because I didn’t have any money in my account.

Tomorrow I see my pdoc in the morning and I get my hair cut in the afternoon.  I’ve got to get it colored so I don’t look so old, because ageism is upon me.  I fly back Thursday night, unless the place I phone interviewed for wants me to come out for a face-to-face interview.  Then I will have to go directly from the conference to there for Friday, then back home.  Thinking about the “just in case” is freaking me out. I have to pack for an extra day “just in case”.

I have to start doing laundry for this trip too.  All my work clothes that have been mothballed for a year have to come out of their corner of the closet and be re-washed. I have dishes that will need to be done (can’t leave them for the few days before DH gets home) and calculating lunch and dinner is complicated for me.  I don’t want left-overs sitting in the fridge.  I’ve got to pack breakfast food (in the form of protein bars) because the hotel is one that doesn’t offer a free breakfast.  (Fortunately, I got the student hotel rate, but there’s no student rate on food.)  I have to pack all 11 (or is it 12?) medications for this trip.  I wanted a smaller pillbox, but I haven’t got time to go to Walmart to look for one.  Or maybe I do.  I don’t know.

Aren’t I supposed to be looking for a job???

And that’s a fruitless endeavor too.  Yesterday, today… nothing there.  Nothing.  If I was an IT person, I would have it made.  (At least locally.)  If I had managerial experience, that would open some doors.  If I had specialized in anything other than what I did, I would be in a better position.  This conference is about the only place to find a job in my specialty.  And we still have to exclude anything that requires a security clearance.

So…. yeah, I am so frustrated right now that I want to cry.  (I also had therapy today, which is emotional for me these days.)  So many things to do, but my list only has 4 on it because I can’t even articulate them in my head.  (Although this post is turning into a pretty good to-do list.)  Anyway, I guess the first thing on my list is to go make dinner.

Wish me luck! (and sanity!) 😉


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.