*ORDERS: Related to the above, as outlined in previous posts, I have had to scramble for income since I quit my university job and the very few orders that come in through the shop get swallowed up by the hole in my account and/or by required supplies, and so I have a slew of boxed up orders sitting here that I haven't been able to ship. Since my site has been a little wonky for a while (esp. for Chrome users) and I don't have the skills to solve the problem definitively/permanently, and since I have been out of the house so much lately and haven't been able to get anybody else to solve it, and since the shop and back orders are still in a total disaster state and I haven't really had much in the way of orders coming in anyway, there's no income there either. So I've been working overtime to earn some cash so I can eat, pay rent, and hopefully have something left over to ship all these orders sitting here. Part of my check that I just deposited is going to printing labels today, in fact. Since I still don't know when I can dedicate phone time to catching up on consultations, and since I am still not anywhere near caught up on the inbox and I am sure there are some refund requests in there mixed up with all the notifications from Shopify and Paypal about how shit is fucked up and some people are forcing their refunds to the top of the list with disputes and chargebacks, I am going to try to start refunding consultations too. Unfortunately, for reasons I've covered in previous posts, I have to handle the physical items orders first.
I feel terrible about this and I feel terrible about having to repeat how terrible I feel. My life has been a total disaster for a year now. I have good days here and there, a few more lately than, say, this past spring. But I'd be lying if I said I had adjusted to this barrage of changes -- esp. the knockout blow of my closing the door on the life and career I had spent over a decade planning and working and sacrificing for - with grace (or frankly, at all). To say this is not how I pictured my life being at this point -- well, massive understatement.
Of course the other hits have kept coming. A colleague and friend -- who retired just this spring -- died suddenly and I'm still caught up in paroxysms of cosmic injustice from a family member's lost battle with cancer this spring, so I'm not handling it well (and I'm simultaneously feeling like a selfish brat for focusing on my personal feelings of loss that I somehow don't quite feel . . . as entitled to, perhaps, as other people are, people who are handling it all better than I am by the way, and people who deserve more support from me than they are getting because I keep hiding under the bed, figuratively speaking, and shaking my fist at the sky and stomping my feet). With this existential abyss under my feet, the little things tend to knock me down way worse than they should - I almost get the car transmission loan paid off and then the washer breaks, so I have a quiet meltdown as I look around and see, through my skewed perspective, only chaos. It's a regular old comedy of errors and yes, I have been spiritually cleansing the hell out of everything. This is just plain old massive life change, from multiple directions at once, and I just have to try to hold on gracefully until things settle down, which statistically speaking they simply *have* to do eventually (though what's going to be left when the dust settles, God only knows). And so frankly, even when I do have time to start scheduling appointments for sessions on the phone to catch up, I'm not sure how my stamina for them will be. I haven't been at my best in so long that on bad days I begin to think I will *never* catch my breath. I certainly think, even on good days, that my clients deserve better than they are getting from me. What, about 5 years ago I guess? things were looking promising on all fronts. My life has taken a 180 and so much has changed this past year that I don't even recognize it as my life sometimes. *Everything* I had been working so hard for, for so long, has gotten derailed or hammered or been blown up; it's like an inversion of 5 years ago. All the things I was handling well I now have fucked up.
I don't mean to turn this blog into my diary and I don't think anybody really wants to hear me whine about my problems, but that's not precisely my intent here, honestly - in part it's to explain why I'm still buried under so much crap that orders and communication are still moving glacially, in part it's to explain why I can't seem to get my shit together mentally enough to do a consultation even if I do have a quiet hour I can dedicate when I get home from doing a 12 hour shift of essentially manual labor, and in part it's to say that I'm at loose ends when part of my job, my role, is to help people see the patterns in their own lives, the meaning in things when they get run over by life or turned around, but I can't do the same thing for myself right now. I don't know why things have gone and are still going like this. I don't know why my almost superhuman ability to keep all those plates in the air for so long just fizzled and I dropped nearly every single one of them. I don't know why the normal peaks and troughs of life turned into such extremes and why I seem to have lost the ability to swim for a while. I do know that it does me good to get out of my head and to work wtih and help other people. It gives me perspective, and I esp. need that now that I'm not getting that through teaching anymore. I know that one day the perspective will come and when I'm not in the thick of it, I'll be able to make at least some sense of even all of this. But I also know that I look like a walking disaster to a bystander and some days, I feel like one to myself, so I'm not sure I can really sell anyone at all on my ability to help them with any perspective right about now! I'm sure one day all this will make me a stronger, better person with more insight... but I'm not there yet.
I am going to try my best to update again once I can say anything definitive about the site fixes, about getting orders out the door, and/or about progress on the inbox (why no, I haven't had much lasting luck with any of the SIX assistants I've trained in the last 12 months, but the one before last who was really pretty damned good is back in town and I'm trying to persuade her to come back aboard). I have a LOT of stuff to chase down and solve, I'm already exhausted, and i have to fit 8 hours of outside-the-house work into this day somehow too.
But I wanted to say that I'm alive and aware of the site being down and am trying to fix all the things. I'm working on getting some orders out the door first, though. Because the site is down, I'm not sure if notifications through it will work properly, but once it's back up I'll manually update the order statuses