Thursday, August 14, 2008

Some Cheese With That Whine? Maybe.

I'm posting from the Family Mac, so there are no pictures. I don't know how to do the pictures thing from the Mac. It's really easy to turn, resize & upload photos from my PC, but I can't figure out how to accomplish all of that on this crazy Mac.

Well, the new school year has arrived. And it has brought with it a TON of stress. Like, the "I'm-not-sure-i-can-handle-all-of-this" type of stress.

Ty starts kindergarten on Tuesday. Tomorrow is his last day of preschool... forever. The transition to real school is going to be a really tough one for him. He hates change, and anything new terrifies him. We are going for his orientation tomorrow: he will get to see his classroom, meet his teacher, and have a short ride on a school bus. We'll see how all this goes. I'm not sure he gets it yet. I'm excited for him - kindergarten is a big, exciting deal! But I'm also terribly sad. This is yet another growing-up experience that I know is right for Ty... one that he is ready for, but that I am decidedly not ready for.

I am doing with this the same thing I did with giving up breastfeeding, giving up binkies, potty training, and sleeping in a big-kid bed. I am pushing my baby from the nest despite the fact that I want to hold him on my lap and keep him small & cuddly forever.

My "new" job started this week, and has brought with it a ton of stress as well. Oh yeah. A few people have asked about my "new" job. It's only kind of new. See, I am a music therapist and an applied behavior analyst. I serve children with developmental disabilities (and thieir families). I own a company, and for the last five years one of my biggest contracts has been with a local school district. Last year they began the process of converting independently contracted music therapists to employed music therapists. Since this was my biggest contract I had little choice but to take the position they offered me (which will pay more and has benefits). So I'm actually doing the same job I've always done, but now I have to give 7.5 hours a day only to the district, and there's a WHOLE LOT MORE paperwork. (Plus I don't have to work summers anymore.)

I have not closed my company. I still own it and I still see kids after school hours Monday through Thursday. This is one of the reasons I'm so totally overwhelmed. I've got about 15 additional clients and 6 additional buildings for the district, plus four families for the company to serve. Every school kid needs a new file, data sheets, consult forms, etc., and most of my private kids need updates for ABA programs, data graphs and behavior intervention plans. I've got a music thearpist who subcontracts several kids for me, and I've got to figure out all the rules and how-to's of hiring her as an employee while also trying to find an additional therapist to contract for another client. Other than my own payroll, I am also responsible for all the business tasks related to the company, including taking care of the books, answering the phone, billing and bringing in new clients. It's a lot to be responsible for, and I hardly ever get to be at my desk... since I'm now working from 7:30 in the morning until 5:00 at night. I'm sinking deeper & deeper into a dark pit of paperwork.

There are a lot of people who are depending on me to do things for them, and this responsibility is weighing heavily on me right now. They all need something from me, and many of them need it, like, yesterday.

My house is a wreck and I can't seem to get on top of it. It seems that there is stuff everywhere and my laundry is seriously out of control. I never have the energy to clean it up, though. I'm exhasuted by the time the boys go to bed at 8:00 every night.There is always something to do: meals to prepare, dishes to do, laundry to fold, piano to practice... it just goes on & on & on. The UFOlympics started nearly a week ago and I've only managed to knit 2 rows on the Veste Evereste.

Not that it matters much, since it's unlikely that I'll be wearing it at all this winter. My weight loss has completely stalled with 13 pounds to go to get back to my pre-Riley weight. Add that to the 10 pounds I never lost after having Ty and that gives us a grand total of 23 pounds I need to lose. I'm stuck and it's frustrating. I haven't been to the gym in two weeks and I'm beginning to feel like a big lump of yuckiness. Ugh.

And did I mention that everyone around me is falling apart? Riley is still recovering from his first ear infection. (I got an hour and forty minutes of sleep Sunday night because the poor thing sreamed bloody murder all night long. Not kidding here. He screamed. all. night.) Matt has torn his other meniscus. (For those keeping track, he's now two for two on those. The other one tore a while back & he's been living with it. This one was injured when he was checked during a hockey game in a "no check league" two weeks ago. It swelled up like a fryer chicken and will likely need to be corrected through the magic of surgery.) One of my grandmothers fell & broke her hip over the weekend. (She has to have surgery and tons of rehab before she can go home.) Someone I know has cancer. (She's less than a friend, more than an acquaintance. She has a couple of small children and is a really great person. I like her and I think very highly of her... we just don't really have much in common. I don't knwo her prognosis, but I know she's going to struggle with treatments and taking care of her family.) And the most recent news I received was that one of my closest friends (who is also a colleague and mentor to me) has a meningioma growing between her brain and her skull. (She is having brain surgery next week to get it removed. It's probably benign; 95% of this type of tumor are non-cancerous. And it's not down inside her brain, it's on the surface. But it's still really scary for her and for everyone who cares about her.)

I am completely overwhelmed... emotionally, physically, mentally. Do you think that maybe we could petition God to put a few more hours into each day? Or maybe I could get Starbuck's to start offering intravenous caffiene drips? All I want to do is to take Matt, Ty & Riley out into the woods, pitch a tent and avoid all of this. But that would be too easy... so I guess I'll just stay here and tread water for now.


Tamara said...

Whew, Girl! Sounds like you have a lot on your plate! Hang in there and don't forget to breathe. At least occasionally :)

Sandie said...

What a lot going on at one time, particularly with a new job on top of everything else. May I suggest chocolate? It won't clear up the problems, but you'll feel better while you're eating it. :-)
Saying a prayer for you!

Rebecca said...

I'm sorry you're so stressed...seems like there's a lot of that going on right now in everyone's life. I think there's some sort of universal flux going on throwing everything out of whack. I just hope it comes back under control for all of us.

And I agree with Tamara and Sandie...


Lather, rinse, and repeat!

Hope things look up soon...