Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Patron Saint of Lost Causes

My grandmother's personal favorite saint was St. Anthony, commonly regarded as the patron saint for finding lost objects.  Any time we misplaced something, she would advise us to ask St. Anthony for help.

As you probably gathered from my last post, I am desperate to find another job, and after six months of looking, it's starting to feel like a lost cause.  So I am posting this in the hope that it might help.

O most holy apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus -- People honor and invoke you universally, as the patron of hopeless cases, of things almost despaired of. Pray for me, for I am so helpless and alone. Please help to bring me visible and speedy assistance. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly (state your request) and that I may praise God with you always. I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you by publishing this request. Amen.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013




not balanced: as

a : not in equilibrium
b : mentally disordered or deranged

"Balance" is a concept you hear a lot of working mothers talk about.  It is something that I think most of us strive to achieve.

For quite some time, I have felt unbalanced, as in the first meaning of this word. . . not in equilibrium.  Feeling that I am devoting the majority of my time, energy and focus to something that is less important to me than it once was--work--while having less time to devote to many other things in my life that I used to enjoy.  Feeling overwhelmed.  Feeling that, although I have many of the things in my life I hoped to have, the life I am living is not the life I hoped to live.

For quite a while, I have felt caught in a trap of my own making, stuck, as though I have painted myself into a corner and cannot figure out a way out of it.  I know, intellectually, that there *is* a way out.  Were I counseling someone in my exact situation, I would certainly tell her that she could do many other things, that she is capable and qualified.  But I seem to lack the energy/confidence/gumption/something to find that path for myself.

The past few weeks, I have not only felt that I am not in equilibrium. . . I have also felt unbalanced in the sense of the second definition: mentally disordered.  Unstable.  Like I might, at any moment, break down, crack, under the pressure that is my daily life.

What pushed me over the edge, to a point where I could no longer handle the stress, was developing daily headaches, for reasons that are unclear even to my doctor.  I have had a headache at least some portion of every single day since waking up with a migraine the day after Father's Day.  Although I have suffered with migraines since age 15, I have never before lived through an episode like this.  Some of these headaches have been migraines; some of been tension headaches.  Some have been typical of the usual headaches I get; some have been different.

(Yes, I have seen my doctor, a few times.  I have also had a MRI of my brain, which was negative, assuring him that there is no serious, organic cause of the headaches.)

My sister made an analogy that I found apt.  She compared my management of my daily life to walking while balancing a very full glass of water.  If I walk carefully, I can do it without spilling a drop.  These daily headaches have been like someone came and poured some extra water into my glass.  Now the water is running down the sides of the glass, and I can no longer keep it from spilling out.

I know something has to give.  Something has to change.  I cannot go on living the way I've been living for the past year plus.  

Of the things in my life that are changeable, the things that occupy my time on a daily basis, there is only one that I would want to change: my job.  I think that making that one change would, eventually, make a huge difference to the whole, for a number of reasons.

There are a few obstacles to my making that change.  I have very little control over being able to find a new position at all; I have applied for many jobs in the past six months and had three interviews and still no new job.  Also, changing to a job that isn't just as stressful, time-consuming and unfulfilling as my current position will certainly mean a pay cut.  The only question is, how big a pay cut.

Since faking my own death seems a bit drastic (and I would miss my sons too much if I did it), I guess I am going to just have to keep plugging along and find a way to keep doing what I'm doing until I can get out of this daily grind that I am in.  I hope and pray that I find that way soon.