I’ve had some rough times with my medication since I last wrote. This past week I had the worst stiff/sore neck imaginable – I thought I’d pulled something at first, but the pain went all the way up the back of my head on both sides, which is odd for a strained muscle, so I got on the internet while waiting for the massage I scheduled to deal with it (not from our good friend Sandy, who had surgery back in September and still isn’t cleared to start working again) and sure enough, a stiff neck is a side effect of Wellbutrin. So is the ringing in my ears that started at the same time. I also hit a big low point mood-wise on around Friday, and had bad stomach problems, but by Sunday most of the physical stuff had subsided and my mood really lifted. I still have the ringing in my ears, but I’ve actually had low-grade tinnitus since I was in my twenties, and I’m so used to it that I hardly notice the increased ringing. But just in case any of you, like me, were thinking taking a medication like this would be a cakewalk, well, you (and I) were wrong. I was in bad way for a few days, for sure, but here’s hoping that’s the worst of it and things will start to even out now. The past two days I’ve felt incredibly normal, with no dread or gloom hanging over my head, so that’s really good. Moving on.
Remember this photo of the bouquet my friend Lana sent me in July? Well, a few weeks ago I received an email at my Flickr account from a representative for a small ad agency in California that wanted to use it – she’d found it through a Google Image search, believe it or not, and liked it enough to inquire. Scrambling to sound like I knew what I was doing, I emailed her back asking what they wanted to use it for so I could quote them a price. They wanted to put the photo in a catalog that would go out to florists nation-wide, so it was not an ad the public would ever see, but the catalog would have a print run of about 30,000 (I think, I’m going from memory here). I actually used my Getty Images account to help me estimate a price, since all the photos I have for sale there list different pricing structures based on what people are buying and how they are going to use it; I decided that $300 was a decent price for a stock photo and emailed that back to the representative. In no time she agreed to my price, I sent her the photo, and ended up with an extra three hundred bucks in my bank account. Not bad for a photo I only took to share here on the blog and which took me about two seconds to set up and photograph!
I haven’t taken any photos at all the past few weeks, but it’s been a good break. My now-abandoned 365 project had started to suck the life out of me (does anyone ever successfully complete one of those?) and keeping up with all the people I followed and trying to comment on their pictures got temporarily overwhelming, so it’s been a nice vacation. I have, however, been going back through older sets and processing stuff I previously ignored, like the flower photo above, and that’s kept me occupied for now.
I’ve also decided that one way or another, I should get myself out of education next year and into something different, something less stressful and time-consuming. I agree with Luanne that work is a trigger for my depression, and I’ve finally come to accept that even though at one time in my life teaching was my passion, it no longer is at all, and has indeed become nothing but a huge strain on my psyche. Sucks that I didn’t go ahead and make the leap at the end of last year, because now I’m looking at another full year in education before I can make a change, but at least the decision is set now. And, I think I needed to try moving back into the classroom to see if that would make a difference so I would know (it didn’t, of course). I could go ahead and quit, but my name is already attached to this new program I’ve helped to start up at the school, and it would not look good if one of the founders left mid-year; I wouldn’t do that to the other people involved or to the students, who don’t need that sort of weird upheaval to their routines. It will be hard enough to tell them all goodbye at the end of the year, as the class sizes are so small I get to know them pretty well and I am sure they will not like the idea of the program turning over to someone else. But, it has to be done.
That’s about all that’s going on for now – my father-in-law is still in the hospital, and it’s hard to tell if he’s improving or not. My husband has taken a leave of absence from his job to help care for him while he’s in a long-term care facility, and that whole situation is just wait-and-see for now. Other than that, early voting starts Monday in Texas, so in spite of my feeling that a Democrat will not be able to pull out a win here for governor, I am going to go put in my vote for Wendy Davis anyway. She’s the best shot we’ve had since our last fabulous female, Ann Richards, ran this state, that’s for sure.
Oh, and for those who might be curious, I completely abandoned my perm in October and started straightening my hair again with a blow-dryer (see above). With my hair straight, I can actually go 2-3 days without washing it, but when it was curly I had to wash it every day, and I just got tired of the work it took to maintain the curl. I may still wear it curly on occasion, but I haven’t done so in almost a month, and as you can see, my hair has sufficiently recovered from the chemicals so it doesn’t look dry or damaged when I straighten it out like it did the first time I tried. It does have more volume than usual thanks to the perm, but it’s been a bit difficult to get used to due to all the new layers I had cut in to deal with the curl. So, the great perm experiment of 2014 has come to an end. Live and learn.