problem solving on several fronts

September 7, 2015

I have been feeling rather negative for the past few weeks [specifically:  distracted, anxious, self-flagellating, and sometimes sad].  I finally sat down to try to analyze my issues last night, and came up with the following problematic areas:


1) Feeling overextended at work.  It’s getting real.  I’ve now been at my job for just over 2 years.  I still really love where I work, and consider myself lucky to do what I do.  However, lately it has been busier (in part due to staffing issues which are temporary!), and I end many days feeling like I’ve run a race, particularly since I have to leave at 5 pm to relieve our nanny.  I also have several projects on the back burner that need to be completed, and these are starting to ping my anxiety centers on a regular basis.

I also have been seeing a huge (HUGE) number of growth patients, many of which are basically coming to me to outright ask for growth hormone.  This is a sensitive and ethically-charged topic, and it is just wearing on me.

2) Feeling overwhelmed at home.  Not all the time.  But, as I’ve written many times before, A&C are a tough combo right now.  Annabel has matured so much, and in general she is the easier of the two right now, but when she is bad, she is mind-numbingly so.  I have found some strategies that work some of the time, but sometimes nothing does.  It makes me anxious about going out (because what if she stages a public mutiny!?).  C is extremely active and he’s at an age where there is it impossible to reason with him and yet difficult to distract him from what he wants (even if it’s something absurd).  He’s also not very verbal, which is starting to frustrate him.

3) Feeling low on downtime.  Because A&C get up after me and go to bed before I do, I do get a least a little bit of downtime, but I haven’t been using it well.  Yesterday, I realized that part of me always feels like I have to “earn” rest/relaxation by having everything done, and since that doesn’t happen, I end up frittering away spare minutes.

4) Feeling low on support.  As I wrote a little while ago, we’ve lived here 2 years.  I just don’t feel integrated into the community yet, and I do not have friends that live close enough for casual park meetups on the weekend.  I also find that friends who have older kids would rather do big-kid things, and I don’t blame them one bit!  I need to find more friends who have kids similar to the age of A&C.   I want to be invited to something once in a while and not always be the one inviting.

1) Write out work projects and create a schedule, which will include the necessary babysitting coverage to get things done on some later evenings and weekends.  I have 3 talks to create — one on transgender medicine, one on polycystic ovary syndrome, and one on growth — and just need to carve out chunks of time to get them done and polished.  
2) Stay late at work once/week to catch up so that each day doesn’t have to feel like such a race — I will have built-in spillover protection.
3) Create growth handout so that I have firm, clear answers to treatment guidelines and insurance questions.  
4) Focus.  When with A&C, I need to actively try to keep my mind right there with them.  Not thinking about my to-do list.  Not thinking about work.  Not counting down minutes until nap/bed/whatever.  But right there.  
5) Discipline.  Work on finding better discipline tactics for A.  Read Janet Lansbury.  

6) Weekend plans.  Continue to make at least one effort each weekend — inviting someone for a playdate or a meetup.  I have to believe that eventually it will pay off.  
7) Other sources of friends.  I may consider looking for a book group or running club to join, too.  I would love to find a FL running partner.
8) Schedule this in, too.  Even if it’s just “write post” / “read book” / “watch X show” written in my planner, I am more likely to allow myself these truly restorative moments if I have thought about them in advance.  I also am going to schedule the occasional massage and pedicure, even if it means securing childcare once in a while.  
Okay.  I feel better already having written all of that out!  Tonight’s goal will be to create the aforementioned work schedule.  Today’s goal will be just to be present with A&C.  I will report back.

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