Values

Lately, I’ve been doing a bit of introspective evaluation. I have been depressed and anxious and can’t seem to rid myself of pessimism and cynicism. It’s not for lack of trying. I feel worst when unable to control my life. That’s part of the reason my morale has been suffering. I don’t feel secure and that’s important to me. I have lost confidence in my abilities, not to mention what the depression & anxiety have done to my abilities to focus and analyze things. Unfortunately, analysis is a pretty big part of my job. So it’s a viscous cycle. I worry that my job could be swept out from under me at any moment. I worry about everything. I tried to make a list but it’s much too long… I worry about everything.

Nothing I do or think or feel is worry-free. It is so overwhelming I am jumpy and on the verge of a panic attack always. It’s not humanly possible to switch it off and on at will (my manager doesn’t believe me). If it were possible, I would do it. It is not fun to always be ON. All my senses are hyper-sensitive and it’s draining; it’s physically and emotionally draining.

How do I cope? I have some healthy coping skills but I also have some unhealthy ones. Luckily, I don’t rely on drinking or drugs. The two unhealthy things I use are eating and shopping. Both have obvious negative impacts but are socially acceptable which technically doesn’t make it any better but at least there’s not a lot of judgment about my behavior.

I do do some positive things too. I am taking some time off this week. I enjoy my art. Thursday, I’m attending Sherri Haab‘s PMC class at the Portland Bead Expo. Friday I’m getting a massage. I am meeting with some of my art-friends on Sunday. Next week, I have a therapy appointment and I try to attend a support group meeting on a regular basis. The class I taught at NAMI is about over but it was a good way to help others who also have mental illness in their family which in turn helped me. I’m really happy my volunteer time is being matched by my employer, Intel.

I am working on some new healthy skills too. I am working on healthier eating habits. As the weather improves, I am determined to get more exercise. Last year I bought a new bike that doesn’t have more than ten miles on it yet.
I also have some longer term goals. I would like to write a book. I would like to simplify my life (I know that’s kind of broad).
In the meantime, I need to do some thinking about my career. Luckily, Intel is throwing new resources toward development. I have read a couple articles and have seen a trend toward matching your personal values to your career goals. I think this excerpt from the book Finding Square Holes: Discover Who You Really Are and Find the Perfect Career by Anita Houghton sums up my situation well and I realize I have a lot more reflection to do about my life and my career.

Knowing what is important to you will also, by default, help you to clarify what is not. Being more aware, more alert to the values by which you live your life, you start to question your actions, question your motives, question your feelings, and gradually the important things in your life float gently to the top, while the less important ones sink slowly to the bottom.

And when that happens, the result is… happiness.

Source: Finding Square Holes: Discover Who You Really Are and Find the Perfect Career by Anita Houghton

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