27 May 2012

Stress and Staying Focused: A Rant

 Yes, I'm about to rant a little.

The title basically says it all, only "staying focused" is often a lot more difficult than people tend to think. I'm talking here about focusing on what matters.

Lately, my life has been revolving around one simple thing: THE JOB. 

Yeah, I like my job. I love that I get to help people experience something that's helped myself and many, many others (for those that do not know, I work retail selling electronic cigarettes-- it's helped me and so many other people quit smoking cigarettes). I love the fact that I've gotten promoted. I enjoy responsibility and am a highly organized person, so being assistant manager (or second key, as they call it; a term typically used to make people do more while not getting the extra pay for that responsibility) is perfect for me. I also do enjoy my coworkers-- most of the time. I love talking to people and seeing them walk out of the store happy. I especially love it when they come in looking for me because they were so happy with me, my personality, and how they were treated in my store.

Me in a nutshell.
What I don't like about the whole deal is the stress. The working environment is often stressful. What I don't like is that the stress is the result of the trickle-down effect: I'm stressed because my manager is stressed because HIS boss has the Big Wigs breathing down his neck. Would this job normally be stressful? I don't believe so, but because of that trickle-down, it sure is getting to be more and more every day.

What I don't like is the commute. Forty-five minutes one way, twice a day, absolutely sucks! I hate the fact that I'm anxious in traffic, that we only have one car, and that K. has to drive me back and forth or he won't have a car for himself and my son should something happen. 

I also hate the fact that moving "closer" to work-- and thereby lessening my commute time-- would mean moving into the city when we desire to get as FAR away from it and its bad influences as possible! I therefore have no other choice but to commute...or deal with city life, which is something we're absolutely not going to do.

What I don't like is the fact that I'm simply not used to working a "real job" anymore. Do I have a physically demanding job? No. But it is mentally stressful, and I end up absolutely exhausted by the end of each working day, no matter how long or short it is. 

Stress adversely affects me in a very physical way, and lack of proper sleep does the same. Just yesterday, I worked nearly twelve hours solid (a last minute "schedule change", don'tcha know) and ended up spending half of last night nauseous and sick as a dog as a result.

When I pray now? It's "Please, God, don't let Big Boss Guy be a complete and utter a-hole today, because I can't handle it right now!", not being thankful for everything great and wonderful I have in my life. Those amazing stay-up-till-all-hours-talking-God-with-my-lover nights? Too tired to make it more than half an hour now...and that half an hour usually ends up with me, bitching about WORK.

Not only that, but I feel like I'm losing time with my family, too. I force myself to stay awake much longer than feels comfortable and healthy every night after I come home from work because I'm not getting that close contact I need to keep on keeping on. 

K. says that it's still being together even when I'm sleeping (and I do get that concept), but I personally would far prefer his company while conscious. I want to be able to talk and tickle and laugh and play...not to spend that minimal quality time drooling onto my pillow. 

Going along with that is the fact that I feel like our sexual relationship is suffering because I'm too physically tired all week long to bother. Not that I don't want it, because I sure do! I'm just kind of at the point where I'm so thoroughly tired I go to sleep and hope I dream about sex. Hell, most days I'm too damn tired to even bother shaving my legs, never mind letting my man see them, or heaven forbid, get between them!

Of course, that's not saying I have or would ever deny my man physical intimacy. I just know that he's far too conscientious about how I feel and my needs to ask me or initiate anything when he knows how tired I am.

On my days off...? Well, judge for yourself. Here I am, on my day off, bitching about WORK.

So I come home exhausted all the time and constantly thinking about work: what I like about work, what I don't like about work, what this customer said, what my boss said, and on and on and on. I can't turn my brain off this garbage, and I know for sure that it's affecting me.

What I need to do is get focused again. Yes, I'm working right now. Is it the ideal situation for our family dynamic? Not really, no; but it's what we've been handed right now. 

I need to learn to keep my work AT WORK. I want to have more energy so that I can spend more time with my beloved and my child. It's hard to keep that balance, I know. But I think my first step in finding balance is staying focused on what's the most important thing to me.

Is The Job the most important thing to me? Hell, no. If it were gone tomorrow, yes, it would suck...but it surely wouldn't be the end of the world. There are other jobs out there to be had. 

In my life, "what matters" is my spirituality, my HOH, and my son. These are the things I need to get back into focus. I want to get back to praying because I love my life and my God, not to bitch about what's going wrong or ask for help! I want to have the energy to spend quality time with my family. I want to feel intimate with my HOH again!

The job is incidental. It's a tool to help me support my family. And I'll be damned if it becomes the driving force in my life! 

I will not allow myself to be absorbed into the proverbial collective and lose my entire life and existence to a paycheck and some company that doesn't give a flying crap about me, my welfare, or my family! 

It's just not worth it.

06 May 2012

Modesty in an Immodest World

When most people think of modesty, what do they think of?

That's a loaded question, because of course people think all kinds of things. I know when I reached my later teens and early twenties, I had a rather negative viewpoint of modesty. I was raised to be modest, you see, and once I left my father's home I decided I would simply do what I want. Skirts below my knees? Not on your life! High-collared shirts? Oh, hell no! I was woman, hear me roar...and all that other nonsense.

When I was that age, I decided to go against much of what I was taught in matters of looks and appearance. It was rebellion on my part, and I thank God that I'm smart enough to not have been a REAL rebel and get myself into illegal drugs or binge drinking, as so many young adults do in this day and age. No, my rebellion was in how I looked, and by God, I was going to do what I wanted and dress how I wanted.

So, yeah. I showed up at nightclubs at the age of twenty-one wearing little more than a fishnet dress, thong, over-bust corset, and knee-high stiletto boots. Pretty much everything I had was on display for everyone to see...and I did get a LOT of looks. How could I not?

Did I love the attention it got me? ...not so much.

Instead of feeling free, beautiful, and desired, fully in charge of my femininity and the burden of responsibility cast off...I kind of felt like crap. I felt like a slab of meat. Men's eyes were on me everywhere I went in that club, and I knew EXACTLY what they were thinking. They didn't even HAVE to undress me in their head. Hell, I did it for them! Get them a little too drunk, and I could've faced a really bad situation. Thank you, God, that nothing more than a few errant drunken gropes happened. 

Rather than making me feel good, this behavior-- this acting out-- made me feel cheap and sleazy.

Damnit. Those feminists lied to me...again!

Modesty sans frumpiness!
Nowadays? I'm older and wiser. Fortunately. I've thrown off the feminist propaganda that tells me I can damn well do what I please and damn the consequences of my actions...and in doing so I've gotten back to my roots. I'm generally conservative in nature to begin with (how I ended up half-naked at a club making out with girls and having a couple too many I can't even imagine now!), but my spiritual path is taking me even further than I was raised to be.

Why be modest, though? Is there really anything wrong with wearing a tank top and short shorts? I mean...I live in FLORIDA, the United States capital of God-awful summer heat! I SHOULD be able to bend the "rules" I've got in my head of what is modest and immodest...right?

Not so much. At least, not for me. To me, modesty is about respect. It's respect for myself, for my relationship with my HOH, and for God.

  • Dressing in a trashy way with lots of skin showing isn't respectful to myself. It feels as though I don't value myself. I don't want to be one of those women who get ahead in life because they wear miniskirts and let their breasts hang half out. Let me instead be judged (if you will) based on my OWN merits...not by how I look. I want my children to grow up knowing that I respect myself. I want them to learn from my example and not make the same mistakes I have.
  • I take a great amount of pride in my relationship. If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm submissive to my HOH naturally; it doesn't take any effort on my part whatsoever. I consider the fact that how I dress is not only a reflection on me, but it also is a reflection on HIM and our relationship. I have respect and deep, deep love for him and our relationship, and I aim to show it through my style of dress. My body is his to see...and his alone. I am not for public display.
  • God created us all beautiful, in our way. I wouldn't cover myself up in ugly sacks and say "This is what God wants from me!", waving around my piousness like a badge of honor. I'm a humble person...but I still want to be pretty. God made women to be beautiful, so just because I won't wear tank-tops anymore and prefer long skirts does NOT mean I am all of a sudden going to wear ugly clothes. News flash: I can wear bright colors and lively patterns on my clothes and STILL look modest!
Of course, not everyone will agree with this, and I don't really care one way or the other if they do or not. I know how I feel when I dress modestly, in long skirts and dresses.

I feel feminine.
I feel pretty.
I feel confident.
I feel respectful AND respected.

To me, that doesn't seem like such a bad thing at all...

To see the kinds of styles I enjoy, feel free to follow me on Pinterest, my second best hobby! 

The above photo is courtesy of Gal Meets Glam.