Lately I've become completely and inexplicably addicted to Spider Solitaire - the 4-suit difficult version of course. Every spare moment I have, I click onto it, trying to raise my win rate, challenging myself to get even the most impossible deals to work out. The sad thing is, as with all addictions, I'm never quite satisfied. Having completed one, I'm then back on it, trying to beat my previous score. Even as I type, I'm sorely tempted to collapse this window and sneak in a quick Spider fix.
Last night, it struck me that there is something deeply metaphorical going on here. This 'ordering' - shuffling the cards around so that they get in their proper place - clearly mirrors my desire to try to set my life in order; to get back to where and who I want to be. The only thing is, the card game is quicker and easier and I have much more control over it. In my real life, truth is, I'm only on the very first metaphorical 'deal' ; most of the cards are still unexposed, the suits are jumbled and I'm sort of stuck.
I've tried to 'big up' my mini-successes as I'm supposed to in self-coaching terms, but just lately as I look at where I am now and where I will be going, I realise just how mini these successes really are. Having felt so pleased with myself - almost nauseatingly so - I've now hit a reality check and I feel despondency lurking, beckoning me into it's embrace (how poetic!).
Yes, I've done lots of training; yes, I've tried things I've never done before; yes, I've lost a lot of weight; yes, I've had a few articles published - but the emphasis is on the 'few'. I've worked very hard, been very busy, but the long and the short of it is - I haven't actually earnt much money and if I pursue the PhD route later this year, I'm not likely to either. I've moved forward, I've set things in train, little openings and opportunities have popped up here and there, but nothing has really come of them. And I still cannot do one of the things I really want to do: make some contribution to the family income.
Money is somehow linked to my sense of worth. I know it shouldn't be, but it is. I can rationalise all I like (and I do), that what I do as a mother, a volunteer, a wife etc - all of the many unpaid roles I perform and the help I give others - is of great value to society, but I can't keep down the feeling that because I can't earn much money or get a 'proper' job, despite all of my training and skills, I am a failure. Rightly or wrongly, I realise that if I am ever going to recover my self-esteem, I will have to earn an income. And I'm not quite sure what that means for my current plans.
Well, back to the solitaire before I start to think too much.