I took a quick inventory of the things that are overwhelming me lately, the things that are taking up too much of my time and leaving me too stressed out to do any magic. Shockingly, the number of things that are "overwhelming" turned out to be really small. Seeing them written down in the quadrants of my life's focus helped to put things into perspective.
I've basically got four fundamental aspects of my life causing me grief. They are, in no particular order of importance:
- Finances: I'm making a decent income, and I should be meeting my bills, but poor stewardship of my finances has left me a freakin' wage slave.
- Family Health Issues: My immediate family suffers from chronic illness. There's not much I can do about it that I haven't done before. I've done magic, and the effects have been short-lived.
- Occupational Stress part 1: My job has been a major pain in the ass lately. Our projects are all coming due, and no one at my company follows their own processes. I was hired to make sure the IT projects are managed by the company's standards. The company's employees don't want to follow the standards. My department, the Project Management Office, is "graded" on how well we get the employees to follow the standards. We're all contractors. They're not. We get the blame if they don't follow the rules. Duh. They aren't stupid.
- Occupational Stress part 2: My boss is literally a micro-manager. He's about 4'11" tall in heeled shoes. He looks like a shaved garden gnome. Without the red hat. And he asks for things like 15-minute checkpoint calls to see that we are doing what needs to be done. Which we can't do because the employees (they specifically refer to full-time employees as "real people" as opposed to contractors; no lie) refuse to follow the process. My wife went into the hospital, and my boss's comment was, "Make sure your time sheet reflects that you're leaving early, and put it in your status report too." Fucker.
The Occupational Stressors were a little more difficult to deal with. There's really nothing I can do to make the employees at my company provide me with the information I need to do my job and do it right. Faced with this, I attempted to find another job that paid as well. No dice. The economy really is bad right now. Usually a month after posting my resume, I'm starting my new job. This time, it's been 6 weeks and I haven't even had an interview. Granted, the last few positions I landed I used magic, and I haven't had the attention span to do a decent ritual with all the nebulous stress going on. Addressing the other two items frees up time for a ritual (Hey RO: Light the fucking candle and say the prayer, dumbass).
The boss, well, he's a bit of a touchy subject. With the dearth of job offers landing at my feet, I figure I'm stuck with him at least through the end of July, and that means making him happy enough to leave me alone. I could do that by filling out detailed status reports (spent 15 minutes reviewing email, 5 minutes composing responses, 20 minutes implementing action items, 32 minutes informing team members of implemented action items, ad nauseum)...
Or I could just sic a demon on him.
Focalor is tempting. Kill the bastard, weeping sores, dead in three days. Hell yeah! I mean.... No. Punishment doesn't fit the crime. He's got a wife and son who suffer enough with him in their lives, neither can support themselves, and him dying would just fuck shit up royally in their lives. And really, he knows he's an asshole, jokes about it, and tries not to be, but just can't help it. I sort of have compassion for him. He knows how bad it is, and has to protect his income by justifying his ongoing employment, so he hounds his three support contractors to generate detailed status reports to show how much value we add to the project. Considering the fact that we can't do what we're paid to do because the employees will throw logs in front of their feet to trip themselves up, I know eventually these status reports will bite him in the balls.
So anyway, I feel for him. It's not his fault he's 4'11". Focalor is a bit too much. If I sent a demon to kill everyone who annoyed me, the earth would be pretty lonely. Assuming God would even allow that shit.
So I picked Eligos. This Duke of the Goetia is designed to win favor of people in high places. Today I took my pentagonal seal of Solomon and the seal of Eligos engraved in copper to work with me. Mostly to introduce Eligos to the boss and the environment. The actual ritual hasn't been performed yet, but it's in the works.
Overall, the most important thing I've learned from all of this is how easy it is to slip into the concerns of the world we live in. Money... it's not that important. Whether the people at work do their jobs or not shouldn't stress me out; I just need to do my job to the best of my abilities, and make it look like they did theirs even if they didn't. That's what contractors are for, and that keeps the pay coming in.
I thought I was totally overwhelmed by insurmountable stress. I was shocked when all the stress turned out to be four piss ant little things. I'm designing some rituals to address each now.
I don't need more money, although I am doing a ritual for a windfall to offset some bad choices I've been making financially. That and sticking to the budget addresses finances. Jupiter has been drawn upon in that regard for both strength and grace.
I'm doing another healing ritual to address the chronic illnesses. I think I know what the root cause is, and I've addressed it with Michael and Raphael. I've also done specific healing rites to address the symptoms as they flare up.
I'm using Eligos and Bune for the Occupational Stress factors. Eligos for favor with my boss, and Bune in his role as bringer of eloquence. The way around the stress of people not doing their jobs is to create a beautiful montage of bullshit that makes it look like they did great. I make them look good, it gives me something to do, and they in turn keep me around for more projects in the future. So I'll be stuck there longer. To be the scapegoat or Chuck Norris that makes the project succeed in spite of no one doing their jobs. Hmmm. May need to rethink that one.
Anyway, lesson of the day: write down what's bothering you and see if it's as bad as it feels. Find the corresponding spirits, and Work with them to fix the issues. And pay attention to your relationship with God once a week so you don't end up as screwed as I did.