Friday, March 11, 2016

Too much information.

I have to be honest: it's been a rough month.

However, I've found myself turning to two things that are doing me a lot of good:

Music, and friends.

(If you've gotten a weird phone call from me at 4:30 p.m., that's when I'm on the 710 freeway, sitting there, trying to not stew about everything.)

I've been trying to play more, and practice, and think about tone and power and volume, and that's slow going because time is not my friend these days. It's funny: work is the no. 2 cause of my stressed-out feelings, and also the cause of my shoulder pain (NOT tendinitis, as my physical therapist told me today but rather... something else having to do with posture and weak muscles and sitting at a desk for 9 hours a day for 15 years that I can't remember the name of), but I do actually like being there. Is that weird? However, having to be there means I can't practice or do the other things that soothe me (laundry being another).

(I'm at Starbucks, and some guy just asked if he could plug his phone charger into the plug beneath my table. He said, "Do you mind if I borrow some of your power?" I said, "WHAT power?" I think he thought I was kidding around but it was amusing, and SO APPROPRIATE. Personal things are making me feel a bit like a bug under a tire.)

The funny thing is the music I've been listening to. I think people assume that when there are hard things to go through and think about, that women tend to turn to sappy, sad music (the opening to Bridget Jones' Diary comes to mind). But I don't need SPECIFIC music to make me cry, and honestly, that kind of stuff does NOT make me feel better. I know how to do that shit all by myself. Nope, I've been turning to Rush for when my brains are scrambled, and it has been so therapeutic.

I think I read somewhere that so-called math rock can help with concentration and learning; for me, the mostly lack of sappy love-centric lyrics and the complicated rhythms are what I'm looking for. Yesterday I was happy when I thought I hit every bass drum beat with my thumb on the door of my car during "Tom Sawyer." I'd love to try out some King Crimson - a favorite of mine and Patrick's for years - but I don't think I'm ready for all those lyrics. Bill Bruford's drums, though! The yearning quality of Adrian Belew's voice, which I love, just isn't what I'm looking for right now. The other band I've been listening to a lot is Weezer, but only the obnoxious songs like "Everybody Get Dangerous," "King," and "Troublemaker." Weezer's ability to make me laugh is appreciated; "The Red Album" delivers.

The other day at home, I was getting a little work in on "The Magic Flute," which we're playing in flute choir. It's hard, and I'm inspired (and, I have to admit, a little challenged) by the woman on 2nd flute. Her name is Loretta, and I'm really fighting to keep up with her. She's got great fingers! I was practicing and Jules sat on the piano bench next to me. The little dude was ROCKING OUT. I've also been playing, on the radio, all my favorite corny classical music greatest hits (The William Tell Overture, Bolero... the Star Wars soundtrack - ssssh, don't tell anyone), and he seems to love it. Me too. It works, right now.

Hey, there are worse things with which to self medicate, right? YES. Maybe I'll get in some piccolo playing today. After my massage.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

If this post were set to music, the composer would not be Wagner.

March 1st of this year was a momentous day in my career.

Not really, but it looks cool up there, doesn't it?

I don't know what I wrote about last year or whenever it happened, but at some point in the past couple of years, I went from being an organized and glorified secretary ("Administrative Assistant II"), a job I enjoyed but didn't challenge me very much, to handling one of the aspects (possibly the easiest) of an employee's time off work, FMLA. I work for a large department, though, so there a lot of parts to that, and policies and laws, and I had to learn a whole new set of skills, and I don't take to change easily, and I let things like this make me anxious and doubtful.

"Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!" -- That's a quote from "Lear," by Young Jean Lee, now playing at City Garage Theatre in Santa Monica. Using it here is an inside joke, between me, and myself.

Anyway, my point is, I was so upset when I had to change everything, and then I mastered it, and then I made it better, and then I was told that I have to become a full-on Return-to-Work Coordinator effective March 1, 2016, and take on even more responsibility, learn another whole new set of skills, and I am once again, freaking out.

I just explained it to a coworker (someone with whom I have a history of not always getting along with, but as I am discovering, she and I are so alike, as much as it used to bother me to admit): I got built up (I raised my hand to over our heads) and then now I have to start all over again, at the bottom (slammed my hand on the other one, at waist level). I'm so dramatic. But it's totally what it feels like.

It doesn't help that my office is chaotic, it doesn't help that you ask a question and you find out it's just the tip of the ice berg, it doesn't help that everything here is multi-layered and complicated, it doesn't help that my coworkers (and me, too, probably) tend to be a bit passionate and sometimes passive-aggressive.

It doesn't help that last month I hurt my shoulder and though it's not excruciating or stopping me from functioning, it hurts a lot and is constantly on my mind (and it affects my sleep). I'm being seen by a doctor, and tomorrow I have some physical therapy, but it hurts.

It doesn't help that something else, personally traumatic, is happening to me that I can't control. It won't kill me, but it does suck, rather a lot.

I'm sure that events will transpire as they usually do (history has shown!) in that I'll begin to understand, I won't be so anxious, and that I'll start to feel better (and that I will see that though I feel like I'm in the midst of a lot of drama, this is just how it is sometimes), but for now I'm sort of drowning.

Hugs welcome.