Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lines Composed in a Wood on a Windy Day by Anne Bronte

Lines Composed in a Wood on a Windy Day

My soul is awakened, my spirit is soaring
And carried aloft on the wings of the breeze;
For above and around me the wild wind is roaring,
Arousing to rapture the earth and the seas.

The long withered grass in the sunshine is glancing,
The bare trees are tossing their branches on high;
The dead leaves beneath them are merrily dancing,
The white clouds are scudding across the blue sky

I wish I could see how the ocean is lashing
The foam of its billows to whirlwinds of spray;
I wish I could see how its proud waves are dashing,
And hear the wild roar of their thunder to-day!
--Anne Bronte

The sky here is overcast. They say it might rain. I sure wish it would. The world needs to be washed after those fires. Of course, rain after fire brings the danger of landslides, and lightning could start more fires. When it rains, it pours, they say -- but waiting for the rain is the worst.

Heather called me the other day, and our conversation started something like this:
  • H: I haven't heard from you in a while, so I thought I'd call and see how things are going.
  • K: Sorry I haven't written in a while, it's been a crazy couple of weeks.
  • H: Yeah, well you said that when you hadn't written, that's when we should start so worry, so...
  • K: I guess that's true.

It's been nearly a month since I've written anything, and my anxiety level has just kept going up since that last post.

First there was the election. With all the work and worry that went into the Prop 8 campaign, I was excited for election night because at least then it would be over -- but then it wasn't. The news just kept coming and getting worse and worse. Now it looks like it'll be at least March before we get another ruling from the supreme court, and even if it comes out in our favor, that will just spark another round of protests.

Then there's Peter's job. It was Tokyopop's implosion and the layoffs in June that really started this current bout of anxiety attacks. Five months of not knowing what the future will bring, especially with daily news of the rest of the economy going into self destruct, has really taken a toll. Peter has been sending out resumes, and doing his best to network to find a job, but even when a company president personally requested his resume, there has been zero response -- not even a 'we got your resume but we're not interested right now.' Well, last week he finally got a response! Penguin's Children's division, Price Stern Sloan needs a Senior Production Editor, and they want one fast. Peter spoke with them Tuesday, took their copyediting test and returned it by Wednesday, then had a phone interview on Friday morning that lasted nearly an hour. They asked him how soon he could start, and whether he really needed to give a full two weeks notice to his temp job.

He has just about all the specific skills they're looking for, and I think he has a really good chance for this job. I think that if he got this job it would be a really good thing for his career and our family. At the same time, if he gets this job, it means he'd have to go to NYC to start right away, and I would be left behind to pack up everything we own and say goodbye to all my good friends here, and hope that we can sell the mobile home, and leave Grandma Stay knowing I'll probably never see her again. But if he doesn't get the job, then he's still stuck with a horrible commute to a job he doesn't enjoy, that has no benefits, and no obligation to give him any notice at all if they decide they don't want him anymore.

I don't know which option is worse, or when they'll call to tell us one way or the other (though they did promise to call), and all I can do is just wait and pray that Heavenly Father knows what He's got planned for us and will make everything turn out for the best.

Meanwhile, one of my friends talked me into making tutus to sell at craft boutiques, and I've gone kind of crazy throwing myself into this project. I hope I'll be able to make back what I've spent on supplies. I've made more than 50 tutus now, and since this is one thing that I have any control over, my brain has latched onto it, and for several nights, I couldn't sleep at all for all the cute ideas for embellishments and accessories that came flooding in. Peter asked me one day, "are you sure this isn't a manic project?" and I had to answer, "No, I'm not at all sure." The first boutique is on Dec 6th -- the same day as the ward Christmas party that I'm supposed to help set up for -- and the weekend that Peter has decided to go to Salt Lake for our niece Hazel's baby blessing (that's his sister Barbie's baby, for those of you that hadn't heard) which means that he can't watch Elizabeth that day.

WARNING: This paragraph may contain TMI for some people. Feel free to skip. Stress does bad things to my digestive tract. I've had something bordering on diarrhea for about a month now, and every day it gets harder to put food in knowing that it's going to feel so bad coming back out. I'm also getting less and less nutrition from the food I eat, and I'm pushing my body harder and harder to burn off the nervous energy (I've been laying more bricks and replanting the gardens). All of that means that I'm losing weight, and since all of the baby fat is gone, my muscles are getting weaker too. I've caught a cold, and it just keeps getting worse. It's harder and harder to get out of bed to take care of Elizabeth at night, and it's nearly impossible to make myself prepare any food at all.

I went to my therapist on Saturday -- we'd had several weeks break, and when she saw me and read my state of mind questionnaire, she said, "I think that you have been too anxious for too long. You need to think about getting back on medication." I agree with her -- my brain is not working the way it should, and I've made some irrational decisions, but it still feels like defeat, and I worry about what even the "safe" drugs will do to Elizabeth -- though I don't think I'm ready to wean her either.

Peter's birthday is this week, and I'm worried that he'll feel let down by a very low key celebration like I did in May, but I didn't plan far enough ahead to get any friends to come over, and most of them will be going out of town for Thanksgiving anyway.

Elizabeth is getting better and better at getting into things, and doesn't sweetly stay put like she did before she could crawl. I had to take a break from writing just now to stop her from gnawing the paint a plaster off the windowsill and pulling the tall lamp down on her head. Right now, she's crying softly to herself in her crib. She's been fed and read to, and now I'm hoping she'll go to sleep, but if the rest of the week is any guide, I have about a 50/50 chance.

Well, there you go. A thoroughly depressing post. I have some happy news too, but I think I'll make two posts today instead of one long one.


  1. That is a lot of stress! I hope the job works out okay (if it's the right thing). It does sound encouraging.

  2. Peter's potential job news is great. I really hope it works out because then a small upside for you and a huge one for us would be having you move out and live by us in NYC! What I'm amazed at is that you're functioning at all right now. I know how hard it can be to live with uncertainty but I tend to shut down rather than working.

  3. Dear Karen,

    I'm glad that you went back to your therapist. Sometimes a boost is needed when things get really tough, and your situation qualifies as TOUGH. Just remember, please remember, that it's temporary. Do what you need to do, get the help you need, to get through it, but remember that it will pass, and there are better things on the other side. We pray for you every day, and we will keep it up.

    Love, Kathey

  4. Oh, Karen! I'm so sorry you've been dealing with so much. I hope that things go well with your tutus--they are REALLY cute.

    Thanks for sharing Peter this weekend, I'm so excited to see him.

  5. Your thunderstorm photo is gorgeous!