Being an “Essential” Worker

I work at a non-profit that focuses on helping people who are HIV positive as well as doing prevention outreach and testing for HIV and STIs in-house. Since we are a charity that focuses on the health and wellbeing of people with compromised immune systems, we are essential.

Reflecting upon the phrase “essential worker,” I am clumped in with healthcare workers, pharmacists, scientists, grocery store staff, those in food service, etc. I don’t feel like my duties come even close to the level of importance of those groups jobs during this crisis.

I do fucking social media and marketing. My coworkers are the ones who are actually making a difference. They are delivering food to clients, checking in to make sure that they are doing alright and all these other wonderful things.

In my eyes, I am the farthest thing from an essential employee.

The only thing I feel like I have contributed is spreading the word about our mail order condoms program. It’s pretty awesome! Anybody can email us or fill out a form on our website to have a box of condoms shifted to their door.

My coworker told me that her inbox has been blowing up since my press release has ran in a few newspapers and online news sites. That made me feel good. Beyond that I feel like I’m the farthest thing from an essential employee.

Have you been working over the last month or so? If so, are you able to work from home or are you going to your place of employment? If you can’t work, are you getting by alright?

I’m Cranky

I have been feeling extra cranky, I’m not sure if it’s because of the quarantine or because I’m going to have my period soonish. Whichever the reason, my patience is thin.

Any small issue I get instantly annoyed. I came back from the grocery store and was drying off my dog after she went out into the yard in the rain. As I ran the towel over her head I sensed myself being irritated for no reason.

I said to her, “I’m feeling cranky and it’s only 10:30 a.m.”

Even writing this post I am feeling tired, angry and want to sleep so I don’t have to deal with myself.

I hate being cranky, my own crankiness annoys me which makes me more cranky. It’s a real cycle that I hate.

To nip this in the butt I am going to be easy on myself today. I won’t expect myself to do a hundred tasks, clean the house top to bottom or anything like that. I am going to care for myself so this doesn’t get worse.

Working from Home & Self Care

As of today I will be working from home for a minimum of two weeks. Since everything I need to do can be done on a computer I was naturally one of the ones to get to stay home.

It’s weird so far even though it’s only 8:30 a.m.

There’s no rush to get ready. There’s no checking the clock every 15 minutes hoping I have enough time to scoop the cat litter box because I decided to sleep in an extra 10 minutes.

During this time I hope to take the first hour and a half to 2 hours in the morning for self care. To do the things I love or things that in general would be good for me.

This morning I am writing, one of my favorite activities. I have been slacking on my blog so now is the perfect time to get back into the groove of things. I hope to be able to keep a steady stream of content during these next two weeks.

I also hope to get a little exercise when my body is feeling up to it. I have chronic lower back pain which is flaring up because of exercise I did recently. My goal is to take a short walk or work out to an exercise YouTube video.

Practicing Japanese, reading a book or making a nice breakfast are all on my list of self care that I hope to implement while I’m at home. It is the perfect opportunity to take care of areas that I have been neglecting in my regular life.

Are you working from home or off work entirely because of the virus? If so, I hope you can also take some time to care for yourself!

New Surroundings

Hello everyone! I have started my new job today and I was absolutely exhausted when I got home. I usually have enough energy to get chores done but today I absolutely could not. I plopped my ass down my the couch with my dog and watched anime.

In past posts (like this one) I’ve spoken about how I once was extroverted but now lean towards an ambivert. That I sometimes get energy from speaking to others while other times it is draining.

Today I spoke to so many people which is not what I am used to. I’m sure every day won’t be like today but I had to meet everyone in the office and have conversations with them. I was with the operations manager all day doing HR paperwork and learning the procedures and the services the organization provides its clients. So much human interaction!!

In my previous job I maybe spoke to 3 or 4 people per day. Today I had to be social which has become increasingly challenging over the years. These new coworkers seem very different from my former ones. They all wanted to chat with me, they seemed like people who know how to hold regular conversations.

The only way I could figure out how to engage with my new colleagues was to ask what their sign was. So I asked nearly everyone what their sign was because I had no idea what to say to anyone. It’s clear they are all friends so it is sometimes hard to fit in to a new work environment when that is the dynamic.

Hopefully tomorrow will involve less human interaction! Cross your fingers for me please!

House Buying Tips: Part 1

So this content is a little different from my usual mental health related ones. One of my lovely subscribers asked if I would share some tips about the home buying process since my boyfriend and I just bought a house in late August. I’m going to do things in chunks so that it’s not a ton of information at once.

Tip 1: Get Your Money Sorted

Before even starting to look at homes, you have to make sure your finances are in check. Whether it’s just you buying your house or you have a partner/spouse, figure out if you have enough saved to make a half decent downpayment. Because we were first time homebuyers, we put down 3% but typically they want you to put down 20% of the cost of the house.

We both had a few thousand dollars saved so we only had enough to do the minimum downpayment at closing. If you do 20% you don’t have to pay mortgage insurance either. We aren’t doing that because we got a really good deal.

Also consider how much of a mortgage payment you can afford now. If you are doing well with the amount fo rent you’re paying, try to find a house that would allow you to have a similar payment.

Tip 2: What do you want?

Once you begin looking at houses online (we used Trulia and Zillow) have a list of some non-negotiables you want your home to have. For us we without a doubt wanted off-street parking, a yard and central air conditioning. When you have those essentials in mind, you won’t be wasting your time looking at places that don’t work for you and your family.

Also of course the location of the home is important. We looked in four different towns in our area for homes but luckily bought ours in my favorite neighborhood in my hometown. I spent my first four years in a house two blocks away and used to work at the Wendy’s nearby (which is now sadly closed).

Tip 3: Price Range

Since you have all your money sorted, figure out your price range. We were looking at house $100,000 to $130,000. Stick to your budget, you don’t want to end up in a house you can’t afford.

Tip 4: See As Many Houses As Possible

See lots of houses. By seeing a lot of different places, you’ll get a better understanding of what is best for you and want will make you and your family happy.

Ok that’s it for this! The next post I will talk about the worst part…mortgages. GASP! The part that had me so anxious my hands were shaking on a regular basis. I got blood work done it was so bad I thought I had a thyroid issue.

I hope you found this helpful 🙂

 

 

A New Opportunity

More change may be on my horizon.

Last week I got a call from a local organization that helps people who have HIV/AIDS in my community. I had met the boss a few years ago when I worked at the newspaper, I did a big story for them.

I’m guessing she had been watching me from afar (not in a creepy way) but seeing what I do for work at my current job at a women’s shelter. She called and said, “Megan I have the perfect job for you. When can you start?” No interview process or anything, I could start tomorrow if I wanted to.

She wants me to do marketing and communications for the organization. To help the community better understand what they do and get the word out about their services. She has even changed the job description for me because I told her I don’t like doing secretarially work. Like what the hell!?

I spoke with her and the assistant director on Tuesday to see what the job was about, get the basics, all that jazz. She told me the hourly rate and I couldn’t believe my eyes. It’s $3 more than I make now so that would really boost my income. I could actually put money into my savings account and pay more on my student loans, two things I haven’t been able to do since buying a home.

But here’s the thing: I really enjoy my current job. If I didn’t like it all that much I wouldn’t mind leaving for something new.

I keep asking myself, “How can I turn down $17 an hour?” I feel like I can’t if I want to get myself in a solid place financially.

Do I leave a place where I’m content for better pay doing a similar job?

I hate making big decisions, it’s really difficult for me. I am seeing my therapist next week to help me sort through everything.

What would you do in this situation if you were offered a job for more money but had to leave a job you enjoyed?

I’m Back & Overwhelmed!

Forgive me all for not being active on my blog over the last week. I’ve been moving and trying to breathe at the same time.

I have a lot to catch up on in regards to my jobs so I will write up a post as soon as I can.

I received a wonderful comment on a post I did on the Bipolar Writer community blog which I want to share in my next post. It was very insightful about negative thinking and creating positive spaces where we occupy our time.

I will post soon! Can’t wait to catch up with everyone and get back to writing and reading your content!

Leave me a comment, what was the best part of this past week for you? If there was no best part, is there anything you’re looking forward to this week?

100 Followers!

I am so thrilled to announce I have 100 followers on the Be Alright Blog!! My goal was to reach 100 followers and it has now come true.

Thank you to everyone who has subscribed, read/skimmed a post, liked or commented on a post! I appreciate you all so very much 🙂

Working on Us

Another week, another Working On Us prompt from Ashley at Mental Health @ Home! Check out her original post here.

  • Do you own a pet for emotional support and/or service/therapy?
    My cats didn’t come into my life for that specific purpose but they definitely help me as emotional support. When I start feeling depressed or anxious I know I can cuddle with my cats. They give me a purpose too. That they would be sad if I wasn’t around anymore.
  • Is your pet a certified therapy animal?  No.
  • What kind of pet do you own?  I have 3 cats.
  • Do you believe that support animals truly assist those in need? Absolutely.
  • Do you believe that any animal can be a therapy/support pet? Yes! Any animal can be supportive.

Describe how your pet is of support to you?

I’ve been pretty depressed lately which makes me lay around in bed a lot. My cats often jump up and lay right next to me, almost as if they’re saying, “I love you and I want to show you that you’re important to me.” They don’t do it at night as often but just having one in my bed makes me feel so much better.

 

Do I Reach Out to My Toxic Friend?

A few months ago I wrote a few posts on here and the Bipolar Writer Blog about someone who was my closest friend in university but had become a negative person in my life for years. She made me feel bad about myself, told me I needed to uproot my life because she knows what is best for me and was incapable of being supportive.

(If you so desire you can read those posts here.)

Lately I have been missing this friend. Her and I could make each other laugh until we fell on the floor in tears. We could talk for hours about everything until the sun came up or I passed out (whichever came first). I loved spending time with her and her family, they are wonderful people who love to have fun.

Nobody has filled that void since I cut ties with her. I have a very tough time making friends as an adult. So there’s been no new friend to take her place as someone I can laugh with, call any time, go shopping with and watch movies with.

I don’t know what I should do. I miss her, I miss the friendship that we had but those amazing days of our friendship were years ago.

Yes I am longing for something that no longer exists, it’s over, but I can’t help but look at my phone and consider sending her a text. I would probably either get no response or just a couple words then silence. I didn’t even send her a text for her birthday last month even though she sent one to me. I meant to but I forgot.

We had gruesome ending to our friendship because I couldn’t fully forgive her for very mean things she said to me last year. That conversation where she brought me to tears I couldn’t shake. It was a cloud over my head, I couldn’t get past it.

I was never able to move on from it.

Any advice here would be great, I love reading your comments!