Ding! Life Level 34

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhMQ0zsMpGk&w=420&h=315]

Fair warning: contains much ranting.

The thing with my birthday falling near the end of the year is that I get to reflect on how this year has been. And it’s been the equivalent of a Hell Level. Looking back I see all the things I wanted to accomplish, and all the things I just didn’t.

The major problem this year was illness, either illness I had or illness in the family.

I got really sick the beginning of this year, which lead me to finally get those wisdom teeth yanked out. Well that didn’t go well so I was knocked out with that. Add various illnesses and so on.

My father had back surgery last year and the recovery didn’t go well. This year it was my mother getting ill. The problem is she complains to me and asks for my help and I live a couple of states away. Least to say I can’t give any help except advice. The problem there is my mom isn’t taking the advice, she’s complaining about it. My brother who lives near her has to force her to appointments and he likens it to “pulling teeth.” And even when she gets there.. well.. the latest one she refused to take a test she needed and was required by her doctor to do. As for meds, if she gets any reaction she associates it with the medicine and stops taking it. So she’s refusing to do anything to help herself really get better and there’s nothing we can do. That’s especially true for me, and I’m having to come to terms with that. If she wants to drive her health into the ground, sadly I fear that might be literally, I can’t do anything about it.

I tried to go for a Japanese Language class this year at the college where I work. I went through all the admission steps and kept striving forward. However the pace was just.. woah. by the end of the 2nd week of class the teacher was to have the first test in Katakana. Plus we had to start going to a language lab to record ourselves repeating oral practices in Japanese.

Now I have a long commute, and an hour lunch. So with all that I’m gone from home literally 12 hours a day Monday through Friday. And I have to make up time I miss for class and do that on the day I have class. So least to say my free time weekdays is very little. To be able to study, practice lessons in the book, learn Katakana, AND go to a language lab on campus to practice (again and make up the time I miss at work).. Yeah that’s not going to happen.

I used a Tuition Assistance Program (aka TAP) to help pay for the class. The terms of it is though that you can only sign up a week before classes start, and can only withdraw from the class at the end of the first week of classes. By Wednesday the teacher in the Japanese class had warned that if you aren’t keeping up then, you should withdraw. They’ve failed people out of the class. Now I loved the challenge of it, but my work life makes me tackling that pace impossible. So on Wednesday in the first week of classes I switched to a Fundamentals of Website Design course.

The good news is the website design course is just what I wanted. My knowledge of HTML was outdated and I’ve been using depreciated code. My knowledge of CSS was pretty much non-existent. Thanks to that class I’ve gotten better at both things and I’m eager to continue learning more about what I can do with CSS. So while I didn’t learn Japanese this year like I wanted to, my website design skills improved instead. Eh. You win some, you lose some.

So I got a class I enjoyed and plowed away at assignments any night that I had the time. However any breathing time was sucked out by my mother calling and complaining some more and being very needy. I mean it’s gotten really bad. She’s been wishing she could live by me, which I tell her is not possible. When I told her of my time I dedicate to my job her response was, “We’d still have the weekends.” I was floored. Really? Weekends? The only time I get to do anything like oh grocery shopping, laundry, spending time with my husband, unwinding…. Now it’s she wishes we lived in the condo with her so we would be there 24/7, completely ignoring the fact we could in fact care for her 24/7. She doesn’t recognize at all that we have our own adult lives and responsibilities. My mom just sees when people aren’t there for her the moment she needs them and complains.

My health started failing due to all the stress. I got the worst headache in my life, started getting anxiety attacks, etc. I finally sought counseling on campus to help me deal with this. I’ve been learning how to protect myself from the stress. Emotionally protecting myself is going to be the hardest. I also haven’t been emotionally and spiritually taking care of myself and replenishing myself. (Thus the stress and health issues.) So I need to work on that too. (Note: Any recommendations on relaxation music like music set to sounds of the ocean, music to a garden, etc is most welcome right now!)

So in general it feels like my whole year had pretty much been abducted and I wanted it back. I just hope this next year goes a lot better. I think I’ll need to focus on time for me this coming year. Again recommendations on how to do this with such a hectic schedule are most welcome. I’m not taking a class spring semester so at least I’ll have that time back to focus on me.

So, blah! 33 is behind me and I’m shelving it right away. I’m focusing on a new year where I help myself get better in every possible way.