Quitter’s chronicles

It’s been three weeks now since I quit smoking, and Phil didn’t.  He cut back substantially, though, and I have to be thankful for that.

Ultimately, 1 pack a week (approximately $10) is much better than $168 a week, which is what we were spending.

Confession time

You’re all going to be so disappointed 😦  I gave in and had a cigarette last weekend.  It

Stop for no smoking terror

Stop for no smoking terror (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

wasn’t that I was having that bad of a nicotine fit, or anything.  I felt that if Phil got to be weak, I would get to as well.  I didn’t even enjoy it particularly.  I just got tired of being the good girl.

That probably had something to do with me starting smoking in the first place.

I’ve forgiven myself.  You’ll just have to as well.  I’m back on the wagon.  It’s just difficult when your partner is still indulging.

Cleaning up

I’ve been tackling a room a week and cleaning it top to bottom in my efforts to get all the residual smoke out of the house.

The bedroom was fairly easy.  My office?  Not so much.  I took all my books off the shelves and dusted them.  I shelved all the books that I’ve picked up or purchased recently, and really cleaned out my storage.

I was going to set up my desk as a standing desk.  Several writing bloggers have recently documented their experiences with back and neck pain, or with repetitive stress injuries.  Then there was that study that came out last year that said too much sitting is actually worse for your health than obesity or smoking.

The desk wouldn’t be easily adjustable, however.  I’d just be stacking a couple of old crates on top of my existing desk to bring my keyboard and monitor up to standing height.

Phil has suggested I try out a health ball first.  Joanna Penn uses one, and apparently it helps to keep your core strong because you’re persistently balancing.  So I’m going to see about sourcing one of those first, and if that doesn’t do the trick, I’ll try my standing desk idea.

In the meantime, my newly cleaned, de-cluttered, and organized desk is lovely.  Let’s see if I can keep it that way 😉

The physical part

One of the many difficulties with quitting is the munchie factor.  You tend to eat more and gain weight.  Food smells and tastes better.  It’s hard to resist.

I’m already overweight and I don’t want to gain much more.

So I’m starting to walk a little more.  I walked home from work once last week.  Yay me.

And I’m going to try out Yoga again.  I tried it once, years ago, but wasn’t fond of the instructor.

Now, I’m going to be attending a class with a friend and that should help with the motivation.  We’ll see how that goes.

I’ve also started doing some simple exercises when I get really twitchy.  I mean this literally.  My right leg in particular seems to be getting “restless” in that restless leg syndrome kind of way.  So when I can’t keep it still, I go do a few lunges, or sit ups, or whatever.  It’s not a formal workout, but maybe it will help.

The addiction part

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been reading some interesting articles.

One was about how a group of scientists has been deciphering the neurochemical pathways of heroin addiction in the hope of being able to shut down the cascade, or find a way to reverse it.

Of course, my first thought was that maybe the research could be applied to other kinds of addiction.  It’s where my head is at these days.

I’m also reading The Introvert Advantage.  In it, author Marti Olsen Laney describes the neurochemistry behind how both extroverts and introverts get their incentives.

Interestingly, nicotine stimulates both dopamine (for the extroverts) and acetylcholine (for the introverts).

The things you learn 🙂

Other stuff

Finally, I am suffering, aside from the restless leg and the overeating, massive breakouts as my body tries to detox, and a whole pile of aches and pains.

It’s fun—so NOT.

Will keep you apprised of my progress.

Coming up: I’m attending a Brian Henry workshop tomorrow and trying to pull together another workshop for the Canadian Authors Association’s Roving Writers Program for October 6.  I should have Sarah Lashbrook’s interview ready for posting in the next few weeks, and I’ll have another interview with another Sudbury author coming up in the future.  Finally, I’m going to be posting about television series and how that landscape, like the publishing and music landscapes before it, is undergoing transformation.

I guess change really is the only constant 😉

Until next week!

All’s quiet on the work front

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about the day job.  The reason: I’m burnt.

Crispy critters.  Toasty-oats.  Done like the proverbial dinner.

I’ve been burned out since April or thereabouts.  It was about the same time that two things occurred to me:

  1. Regardless how well I plan and how hard I work, someone will inevitably ask me to throw everything out the window and do something completely different.
  2. Regardless how well I do, I will never be a regional consultant on a permanent basis.

I was just coming down off the high of achieving my training certification and eager to begin the next phase of my development as a certified trainer.  First, I’d have to assess a few other candidates, and then I could begin to coach.

In the next breath, I was told that the certification program was on hold.  Our internal college was in transition and it was unknown when the program would resume.  To date, I have heard nothing.

Though my performance and learning agreement (PLA) was fairly glowing, I knew I would not remain with the team.

I knew this to begin with.  My assignment was part of a deal and was never intended to be permanent.  It was difficult to hang onto this reality when everyone on my old team was telling me that I wouldn’t be returning.  My star was ascending.

Everyone on my new team was eager to keep me.  To his credit, my  new manager never so much as implied there was a possibility.  Fair enough.

I applied for two other positions, both of which I was screened out of because I lacked the requisite experience.  The only way to gain said experience?  At-level assignments, staffed through unofficial expressions of interest.

By the time summer arrived, I didn’t really want to remain a consultant, at least not in the position of regional training coordinator.  The landscape of the program I administered was ever-changing, and, as I mentioned above, all my hard work was largely disregarded.

Then I had to work even harder, and those efforts, too, ended up going to waste.

I began to hope that I would return to my substantive position, despite the reduction in salary.

Unexpectedly, the consultant pool I was in was extended to the end of August, incidentally the end of my acting assignment.  A couple of consultants had retired, and I felt that I might obtain one of those positions.

Until I learned that regionally, consultants were being centralized.  Now, if I wanted to be a consultant, I’d have to move, disrupting Phil and his job, and leaving both of our mothers (still independent, but aging) without a significant part of their support systems.

I’d already made it clear when I made the pool that I would not be moving.

So now, due to geography (ridiculous because most of our work is virtual) I am out of the running, even though my pool has been extended again, to the end of September.  It’s sad, because I have skills that are in demand.

Despite fishing my wish and getting back on the training team, it’s not the same.  I can’t help but feel that it’s a kind of failure.  I know that this is not the case, but my feelings are what they are.  I also feel bitter.

There was a time when I thought I would never be able to rise very far in the ranks.  Though my office is a hub, there weren’t very many opportunities for advancement.

That changed and I moved up two pay grades in as many years.  Now I feel that again, I’m “stuck.”

Don’t get me wrong, the training team is great and our manager is awesome.  The phrase “force of nature” comes to mind when I think of her.  I used to be so happy.  I thought I’d found my work “home” and was content to stay there.

It’s hard to go back when you’ve had your world expanded, though.

I’m just totally burnt out.  Most days I wake up asking myself if I can, in fact, go to work.  I’m so disappointed when I can’t find a reason to stay home.

So I’m going to be taking some time away from work starting October 15.  I’m hoping that the time off will allow me to address some of the negative feelings I have and return to work in a positive and productive frame of mind.

Priorities.  While I have debt, I need to keep them straight.

Does your day job get you down?  Do you have any options that can help you to recapture your love for your job?