Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Frozen 2 - The Sequel

I've written on here before about the notion of being predicted by the weather. Once again I find the conditions outside - this time snowbound, frozen solid - mirror my internal process. I feel stuck, frozen, unsure of myself and hence unable to make any progress.

I have found a job, not easy in the current economic climate nor indeed in this area of the country. It's only a part time job, but I'm clinging onto it for now. After 15 years without a paying job, I know how important it is to keep my foot wedging open the door of employment. On the plus side, it is close to where I live and the people are nice. But - I hate it. It's both mind-numbingly boring and hard physically. I don't mind working hard if it's interesting, or being bored if it's easy. But this is hard and boring. Plus - I'm working alone which adds to the boredom factor. Not much use having lovely colleagues if your contact with them is minimal! The hours - a split shift - are horrible. And the pay is lousy.

All in all, not a great job. So I need to find something else. But what? After so many years outside the paid workforce I feel at a distinct disadvantage. Virtually everybody has more experience than me. It seems like a good idea to do some training in something, but to be honest, I'm not sure what I want to do. I was really drawn to the idea of working in Counselling, perhaps Grief Counselling, but I've been told it is not an easy field to make a living at. So I'm stuck, frozen, unsure of my next move.

At the same time I go back and forth in my mind wondering whether I should stay at Halfway Up A Hill, or make a clean break and move on. On the one hand, I have endeavoured since we moved here to make a connection with the land and really put down roots here. I have put a lot of effort into making this a permanent home. I also feel a part of the local community and have lovely neighbours. But...

Halfway Up A Hill is a lot for me to manage alone. It is really too big, and alone I am not physically able to keep on top of many of the jobs that need doing around the place. Though family, friends and IB help where they can, I still have a sense that the place is deteriorating faster than I can maintain it. And there are so many memories of my marriage to T here. Perhaps a clean break, a move to a smaller, more easily maintained property - still within this area - would be better?

Interestingly, in hunting out the URL for the post about being predicted by the weather, I found that I had already written a post entitled 'Frozen', almost exactly a year ago, which echoes - or foreshadows I suppose - some of my current feelings. Perhaps all this is just the winter blues. Or perhaps, as my wise and wonderful friend Anne Hill has just written, it is part of the ongoing struggle of Divorce: Year Two. I don't know.

I am frozen with indecision and quite frankly, yes, I am tired from the ongoing struggle. What I would like to ask anyone kind enough to comment is: What do you think? Any career tips? Any thoughts on moving? Any helpful words on how you got through your own divorce/career crisis/life crisis?

Any advice will be most gratefully received. Over to you...


taabith said...

Sounds like you need a homepathic remedy.
To help you move on
thaw your heart and soul.
create movement
stagnacy is not good for living things
it create rot
you might need a change of scene
or something

Anonymous said...

Great post and definitely lots to consider.
As for the job, it sounds soul-sucking. The worst jobs I've ever worked at were split shifts....ruins your whole day. It's the same around here (the economy). I have to keep my pathetic part-time mind-numbing cashier job until I can find something else.....still waiting....
Life is meant to be enjoyed and you've been through enough suffering and struggling. If you can finance it, I would move to a more manageable, more enjoyable place. That said, however, it sounds like you've invested a lot of yourself and your energy into "Halfway Up A Hill".
Tough call, but I would go in whichever direction brings you more peace, more joy.

And the career thing, I hear ya. We have to compete with so many new graduates fresh out of school with all the state-of-the-art knowledge and know-how. It's a bummer.

Counselling sounds like a good choice to me. People will always need counselling. People aren't going to stop dying, therefore, I believe there will always be a valid need for grief counselling. good luck & keep writing. But if it's a difficult area to break into a career like this, I hear ya.
Too many choices, too many descisions!
Keep writing it out - it'll all fall into place once you discover what you really want...and hopefully you can find a way to make it work for you.
* sorry about the long comment - lol, I can so identify!!

Reya Mellicker said...

You are dancing in shamanic alignment with that landscape in which you are so deeply rooted.

Sorry you're feeling stuck, but given the pics (did you see the satellite pic of frozen Britain?) it seems appropriate.

Keep breathing, dear sister. Drink tea and maybe something a little stronger. Hang in there. The snow will melt and so will your sense of stuckness. Come spring, I'm certain you'll know exactly how to proceed, whether to transplant yourself or stay put.

Sending warmth and much love to you!

MouseDemon said...

Have you considered taking in a lodger or something? Perhaps swopping bedrooms, and renting out the old marital room?

I think the weather isn't helping much at all. Especially if you are feeling the same as a year ago or so. I recently posted something rather depressed sounding, and when checking back realised I had written something similar at the same time of year for the past SIX years. Which strongly suggests SAD. It might be worth checking out?

(Sorry I don't comment much, but I do enjoy reading your blog and seeing your photos.)

Griffin said...

Oh Gosh! You sound (but for the divorce) just like me. I'm not in a low paying job as such, but it could be better. I know I need to get a better job but don't know what... or how.

I do know that I want to stop working for a living and start living for a living, but don't know how to go about it... and then I despair and resort to my default setting of detesting living. You're right too, training for what?

I do think that the clean break might be better though. Cancerians do find it hard to let go (so does this Scorpio!) and maybe you do need an entirely fresh start elsewhere.

cynthia said...

Don't think of yourself as stuck. Think of yourself as wrapped in a cocoon. Spring will return, dear, not to worry.
While in your cocoon you will grieve and heal and rebirth. Grieve for your marriage, grieve for Blanche, grieve for the dead frozen earth, then rest and heal.

Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD) is real. i battle it every year in December and January. Lack of sunlight (i work in an office all day - go to work in the dark and come home in the dark). You're a chicken keeper; you understand the effect of sunlight (or lack there of).

Halfway Up A Hill sounds wonderful. What is best for the property? Would it be best for the place if there was another consevator to take care of it? You have managed it well; pat yourself on the back. Listen to your intuition and instincts. You'll know what to do.

Hold on Sister. Daffodils and crocuses will be blooming in a matter of weeks!


Sara said...

It sounds like you are almost in a period of hibernation, waiting to be reborn. Only you can search your heart to find the answers. Perhaps the coming of Imbolc will bring the shoots of new possibilities? I hope the lengthening days will help to shine a light on a path that will bring you answers & happiness. xx

Lyn said...

Oh I know blog land sometimes be full of perfect families living there perfect lives in perfect houses. I think the idea of a lodger is a good one, maybe a B&B as your house is large? I think the weather is also making everyone a little crazy. I have no idea about the job only maybe think of a night class to give you some other options for applying for something else?
Sorry I don't seem to be much help.

Anonymous said...

First time commenting here, I enjoy your gentle blog and feel for you, stuck and unsure what path to take in this frozen weather.

As others are saying here in their own style, winter is about being curled up in a cave, a time for grieving and incubating plans: the right moment to change and the best ways for you to go will come in their own time, like the spring.

With your home, it feels like you have so much of yourself invested there, and that (as Anne Hill writes), you're about halfway through the four year cycle of adjusting to a divorce. Although you may want and need to move somewhere smaller in the long term, maybe in the short term it would work better to stay where you are, as folks have suggested, with B & B, or lodgers who might help you out with some of the work. Thinking of Rima who does the Hermitage blog, I believe she and her love get their winter van pitch in exchange for helping with chores - could something like that work for you?

In terms of your job, I believe it's truly worth working out what you love, are gifted in and enjoy doing, and then finding a way to make a living doing it. (It's something I'm slowly working towards, having in my 40s given up a career that was making me ill and unhappy. Not there yet, but I need to believe it can happen!) The blog Zen Habits has some helpful posts about working out what you love, and it's very inspiring for how to focus on doing, and making a livelihood from, what you love.

Your blog reveals someone with many talents: for writing and photography, making beautiful crafts, caring for creatures, organisation, leadership and huge life wisdom, honesty and compassion. Try and believe everyone who tells you the same or similar, and ignore your inner self-doubter. (I wish I was better at ignoring mine.)

You would make a fine grief counsellor, if that's what you choose, and this is certainly a vocation where your age and life experiences are an asset: it's a rare 21 year old graduate who could truly share and empathise with clients from their own experiences of grief.

On a very practical level, the general wisdom is that does take time to build up a new livelihood this way, 1-2 years at the very least, so part of the process is planning for that.

In the end, I know that when the time is ripe, you'll see the right road to take, and hope it brings you peace and renewed happiness.

Blessings and love, AC x

KLW said...

Dear Moonroot,
It sounds as if you are trying to make several life changing decisions at once and no wonder you’re feeling stuck. Changing jobs, moving and divorce are all major life events that rank way up there on the stress meter and they are best dealt with one at a time.

Sit down with paper and pen and write out the pros and cons of moving. Don’t put down answers you think others want to hear or what you “should” do or feel. Be really honest. I’ve found that when faced with a major dilemma like this, if I just sit and write it all out, the good and the bad and the silly and the whiney, somewhere during the process, the answers start to stand out. Do you have skills that would open up more job opportunities if you were closer to a city? Would selling and moving to somewhere smaller (and newer) give you the money to take classes or an internship or a lower level job in an interesting company where you could work your way up? Do your possessions nourish you or do they drag you down? Do you need the peace that comes from being alone in the country or are you ready for a bit more interactive and perhaps intellectually stimulating environment where there are more people and activities? There are no correct questions here, just what works for you. No one can answer those questions but you but writing them down and sorting them thru might give you some surprising answers.

Cottage Smallholder said...

Dear Moonroot

You are an extremely talented person with so many valuable skills.

A few weeks ago I watched the movie "The Secret" - like you I was feeling stuck. This movie gave me many clues about shaping my present. It might trigger something in you. Just a thought.

I've also found making a treasure map extremely empowering too as it forces you to focus on exactly what you want and where you want to go.

Maybe you could earn an income on line. Does online counselling exist?

Haloquin said...

Hey lady,

Thinking of you.

I was thinking of a lodger too when I read your post... extra income, extra pair of hands... company...

I'm generally of the opinion that if you really love it, it doesn't matter if people normally find it hard ot make a living doing it... you should go for it anyway. Just because it isn't easy/simple doesn't mean its impossible or would be even a gruel for you!


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

If you are thinking about Councilling are there part-time/correspondence/open university course that you could take whilst still having your part time job so that at least you have a small income, or maybe you could try the B&B route to fit with you current job just to see what the uptake may be. (if you are quite inaccessable in the winter this would only bring income in the summer).

As to whether you should move are there other properties in the area that would allow you to have the smallholing animals that you currently have? If not you would have to consider whether the change of lifestyle would be something that you could accept. Maybe just decorating and moving furniture would make the place seem more like your own with less memories.

In the meantime investigate other jobs in the area but don't give up what you have - a bird in the hand and all that!

Good luck - it does get easier and you will look back on this as a learning stage but maybe not for another 5 years (sorry!).


DragonFly said...

Hi, I've been near to where you've been...I had a cleaning job which was badly paid, on my own and boring. I knew I had much more to offer but I had limited experience. It was the first job I had after not working for years. That was when I was in my late 20's.
Then in my laste 30's I had a job I really hated. It was a care worker for a lady with learning difficulties. The journey to hers took hours.
She refused any engagement and would be violent if any was offered. She just wanted to watch shopping channels on TV. I did this every day. Stuck in her house. No one else. After a few weeks on trying to support her ~ it was impossible. She had years of being that way.
It was poor paid.
I felt stuck. Depressed. None of my skills being used. Where now?
Then an Agency I had joined rang me and said have you heard of an 'Education Welfare Officer'. I hadn't. And for all my moaning...it has propelled me into so much experience, learning, challenge...the pay's reasonable.
I know it's hard but when the time is right which I do think will come and not too long...something will happen which might be what you don't expect!
XXX Elizabeth

the wild magnolia said...

Many right on comments have been posted. Hope you have a certain amount of comfort seeing you do have choices! Waiting until spring pops gives you a bit of time. I've not commented before although my enjoyment of visiting your blog is great fun. Few people truly connect with the earth and live the life. Me thinks you will bloom wherever you choose to put down roots.

P.S. If you would allow me to post the delightful and enchanting,"geese in the snow", picture in your blog header, I would gladly pay for the pleasure and to share it on my blog. In addition, I would like a copy for the geese babies for my fridge. Inspiritation dear heart.

Be blessed.

Anonymous said...

Blessed be, dear - and I don't think there would be any defeat in retrenching to a smaller property, more manageable moneywise and effortwise - it would leave you more energy and resources just for you. I felt the need of this when I got divorced and went from a three reception room monstrosity with a 150' grden to a 2 up 2 down no-maintenance modern box with a 12' by 12' garden.

Well done for working at anything at all! Stick with it, perhaps, and try to skew the job to your advantage?

All the best to you and keep us posted.

TGW xxx

Chatters said...

It does sound like you are quite down. I have been in many mind numbing jobs, worked in a bingo hall at one point and hated it. Then I started teaching and loved it until teaching started to feel soul sucking too, not the actual teaching but the policy's, paperwork, what people are like above you, it was making me ill, I was beginning to have no other life except being stuck in fount of a computer, writing reports and session plans that had to have minute by minute detail. so I decided to begin work as a care office which I love, so much to give and so rewarding, no mountains of paperwork, just a little bit. I'm still teaching part time but, I am going to go full time care soon. So I do know know how you feel with the mind sucking numb boring jobs.Which is why i decided to go down the care route, I'm doing something that I love but the money is a lot less. I think you should definitely think about retraining. Do what makes you happy, even if it means less money. I've investing so much time and event, sweat and tears in teaching but things change right. In life what did make you happy no longer does, if that happens its time for something new. The counselling does sound like a good choice to me. In the meantime be kind to yourself, winter is a great time to reflect.

DragonFly said...

There is much in my life I am grateful for and excited and there is areas which I want to change...coos I am growing and evolving...so I can relate in some ways to your post...I am putting my trust in Spirit as it is guiding me and I know when the time is right the areas that need to move on will...in the meantime I am doing a ritual tomorrow to cut away the old...by literally cutting all my dyed coloured hair to leave my true colour!...have you considered or done a ritual to help defrost?...and/or have you asked for Brigid's fires to give your passion and inspiration warmth those coals? Or Artemis the huntress get out there and hunt and hear and feel those drums beating. Celebrate you beautiful One. xxx E