Friday, March 12, 2010

Hell Week

I'm trying to work out whether to attribute the atrocious mood I'm in to hormones, a strained oblique muscle or the fact that I'm nearly at Hell Week.

So far today I've snapped at Eddie when he gave me my daily stupid question at 9.30 this morning  - "Pandore, what eez zee date today?". My normal answer, "Eddie, look at the bottom right hand corner of your computer screen". I've growled at a number of other daft questions I've had to field, and I know managing stupid questions is my job, but four in a row before ten 'o' clock? Geez.

The last straw was when one of my favourite people came into the office at lunchtime and I had to combat the ferocious urge to snuggle into his nice, large, broad chest and cry. I don't feel like this very often at all - but there are times when I just want a nice, safe, comfortable chest to fall into, feel a pair of strong arms around me, a large, soft hand at the nape of my neck and the express permission to bawl until it's all better. It doesn't happen in my real life very often - once every few years. To save face and keep my dignity, I grabbed my handbag and walked out into the street, sunglasses hiding the tears.

It could be hormones. It does fit the bill. My nickname in the office is Happy Noise. Glen Waverley (my Work Husband as he now wants to be called) and the Grounded Dutchman have often noted when I go quiet, "Oh, it's your girlie time, isn't it - you'll all teary and emotional", just which then makes things worse, but they are normally right.

The strained oblique is just plain frustrating. Seems it got pinged on Tuesday working out with Pinochet - it's a struggle to walk without it catching let alone run at the moment. Plying it with reiki, Deep Heat, Salonpas patches, lavender oil doesn't seem to help. And it's the 14.5 km Run for the Kids this weekend - don't know how I'll go or what I'll do if it's not fixed. This has got me a bit glum.

And on top of this, it's Hell Week.

I call it Hell Week because I'm overcommited to the max. I know I keep myself busy, but this is ridiculous. It sometimes happens that all my commitments fall in the same week - normally it's two or three things on a week, which I cope with. In Hell Week, being my introverted self, the overkill gets to me, and it's just a major form of purgatory.

So, this week, my evenings for the next week look like this:

Saturday - Tarot Reading at a Hen's Party
Sunday - Monthly Kabbalah Class
Monday - Co-Freemasons meeting
Tuessday - Book Group
Wednesday - Dream Group
Thursday - Pinochet Session and possibly a client

I'd make my excuses for the Co-Freemason's meeting, but we're getting a new Grand Poobah so attendance is mandatory (Seriously, you learn everything you need to know about Freemasonry from The Flintstones). The Tarot Reading is a long standing paid gig. It's my book choice at book group this month, so I really should be there - and I love book group. I may cry off Kabbalah - only to feel the wrath at Dream Group on Wednesday. It's all just a bit hard.
Oh, I also have to find the time to train, study, make a batch of biscuits for Monday, see a couple of clients, visit Blarney, clean the flat ... And work. And sleep.

Rational me knows that once Hell Week passes, I have lots of free time on my hands.

Once out of the building at lunch, I took myself off to clear my post office box, walking through Chinatown, letting the sunshine osmose into my body. I made a stop in at the Spellbox in the Royal Arcade, my favorite antidote to work and my calm place on stormy days - carefully avoiding my favorite chocolate shops - Chokolait and Koko Black. Chocolate may make things better temporarily, but a sniff of frankinsense and a look at the pretty tarot cards helps to bring me back to earth. Stood there for a while, spun the wheel at the back of the shop which gave me the following reading:

The Wheel speaks of Choice : An important choice will be yours to make; it's up to you which road you take. The easist way isn't always the best; The decision you make is a life-changing test. From thinking and logic it's time to depart; the way to go now is by way of the heart.

My tarot and Kabbalah training tell me that this is the Path of the Lovers. The path of discrimination. A path leading from your heart to a place where you can find what it is you need. It's a lonely path at the best of times. The Sword of Damocles hangs over your head. There are a few too many of these choices to be made in the near future.

Getting back to work after my roam around town, after a hug from the Amnesty representative in Bourke Street, thanking me for donating regularly, I run into my dear boss, Popeye. And I burst into tears once again.

I haven't told you much about the actual team I work with, but I have to say that I'm one of the luckiest women in the world. My team, all men (okay, overgrown boys) are fabulous. They are considerate, caring and fun. If I don't look well they send me home. They perch themselves on the end of my desk for chats. It's like I've got four adopted brothers. Friday afternoon one of them will send around a funny clip to make the afternoon go faster. It's a genuinely great team.

Popeye, my manager, is also a good friend. The antithesis of me - level headed, rational, calm, logical, I respect the fact that he's also a great people manager. I've rarely fallen into tears around him, but he knows how to deal with it. Today he just said, " Talk." - which I suppose is the work equivalent of the large, strong chest. He knows of my struggles with depression. He also knows I can deal with it.We talked of the difficult climate we have at work, the uncertainty, the aggravation a constantly changing environment has and the fact that people are leaving constantly and those who are staying are dreadfully unhappy. We talked about the fact that I'm Office Mum and this does rub off on me after a while. I told him that things felt they were falling in a heap. I also told him that admitting it was the first step to fixing it.

He told me to take a mental health afternoon - coinciding with the landlord calling to say the plumber was coming around this afternoon to fix the kitchen tap.

So, here I am at home, counting my blessings - for a wonderful understanding boss, great people to work with, the self knowledge that I can pull myself out of this, all the while a waiting for the plumber. I'm still pondering whether the atrocious mood I'm in is because of hormones, a pinged oblique muscle or hell week. Maybe it's all of it combined.

I just know it soon will pass.

Card of the Blog: The Moon - Overwhelming emotion, primal parts of the psyche, cycles and rhythms, working through the depths, seeing things in reflection.


Kilometres walked since 29 January: 132 km
Kilometres run since 29 January: 69 km
Currently reading: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes
Weight lost since 29 Jan: 1.6 kg


The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pandora,

I go through Hell Week quite often - well when I say *I* go through Hell Week, I really mean Mrs PM does; she will shout at me for no reason, snap at the cats, cry, and all sorts of other things.

I become a punchbag for her and I recognise the signs - and add to it all she suffers from depression too.

I like to think I'm making her feel better as I deflect the verbal blows - but I just remain silent with a cuddle when she needs one.

Hope you overcome your own Hell week.



Pandora Behr said...

Mrs PM is a very lucky woman. Thankfully the worst of the fog has cleared, the tears have dried and it's one foot in front of the other for a bit. Just glad I nipped this one early.
Thanks again,

Kath Lockett said...

Your boss and work boys sound utterly brilliant and to have a mental health arvo is/was the perfect solution.

Hell week - we've all been there and I think mine is partway through as well. As for the run next weekend, you'll be fine. You might find that your body is 'fresher' after a week or two off and that you'll enjoy it and the oblique will behave itself. If not, go see Ross at Chokolait and ask for a slice of his chocolate pavlova.....