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Night Owls and Depressed Eagles

PatP3005PatP3005 subscriber Posts: 2
I hesitate to post this, but I`m feeling particularly depressed today and I know that this group will know how I`m feeling if anyone does. I`ve run an accounting and tax business from my home since 1988. There was a 7 year break when I went to work for my church as the Financial Administrator. Then my health forced me to resign. That was December of 2004. Since then I don`t really know what is going on. Things have changed since I was in business before. I didn`t have trouble making enough money to earn a living (I have a husband - also self-employed, and two sons). Now, I don`t know what happens to my days. I am in my office, at my desk at least 8-9 hours a day. There was about a six month period when I spent all my time on the internet - learning marketing ideas, reading email and emailed newsletters. Since realizing that that was what was eating up all of my time, I have confined myself to only allow email after 4:30 p.m. (except a perusal every couple of hours to see if a client has sent something).
I used to be SO organized. Now I seem to be moving piles back and forth. Right now it is the beginning of tax season. I have done a LOT of direct mail marketing, flyers, etc. (should have been finished by late November-mid December, didn`t get it created and out the door until early January). I`m known in my community because it isn`t a large town and because the church I worked at (and still attend) is fairly large. People were used to me being on the stage speaking, so I`m familiar.
I have identified one large problem to be this: I am in my office by 9 a.m. almost every morning. I get kicked into gear around 3:00 p.m. From 3 o`clock I could work until midnight and not mind it a bit. But my husband does mind it. Not so much during tax time, but even then I have to watch it.
So, that is what I am asking. Are there any other night owls out there with families preventing them from working during their biological clocks` up times. Have you found ways to get kick started earlier? I do exercise every day. I am currently dieting (hypo-glycemic) so my blood sugar is doing a lot better than it was. I have to do those things because of the health issue.
I am also just not as good as I used to be. I don`t have the ability to juggle eight things at once anymore. (My counselor told me he hoped I never regained that ability.)


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    RealityBoatCoRealityBoatCo subscriber Posts: 1
    Depression is a hell of a fight.  Sometimes it just kicks my butt. And everybody tries to give you advise on how to overcome it.  I won`t go through the list here.  But the one I hate the most, especially when business isn`t the best. "You need to get a job. Getting out and working everyday, you won`t think about your problems and you won`t be depressed anymore."  AARGG!!! This comes from a person that constantly complains about her job.  I`m not depressed because I have problems, I fell off a loading dock and landed on my head. My chemicals are off a bit.  Most days are just fine, but every now and then, forget it. I just don`t care. Don`t bother me.  And working isn`t going to help, at least not working at a job.  I`ve tried that since I fell, I lasted about 2 days.  Boringest(is that a word?) job I ever had.  I begged to be let go.
    Here`s the deal, I weigh 405 pounds, sorry but employers say they don`t descriminate but nobody is going to hire me for jobs that I would really be interested in doing. With or without a degree. So I will have to create my own. (sorry stepmom, sorry wife) thats just the way it will have to be.
    Now that I have been putting this job together, the wife is actually seeing good changes in me. She still not a big fan of the schedule yet, but we will see how that goes. The step-mom, who cares, my dad is the one that lives with her not me. She will always hate her job, and I will always be a failure.
    I used to also be very organized, and had a near photographic memory.  Now, with time I have noticed some holes in that memory, and frequently my short term memory is just toast. Don`t ask me what you just said, cause I don`t remember. Unless it is something I am thinking about. (OK, this drives the wife nuts. But she has learned to start using it to her advantage. So I have to watch that.)
    Basically, I`d go with your body clock.  Otherwise depression will take control.  And yes its a bit of a down day for me here too.  So I will deal with it until its gone.  `Cause the medication isn`t good enough and its to cold to just go play. I build boats, the waters still frozen.  Come on Spring!!!
    We`ll get through this Pat, we really will.RealityBoatCo2007-2-5 13:20:44
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    chrisruechrisrue subscriber Posts: 2
    It seems curious that you mention 9a, but that you don`t fee like you get into gear until 3p, I`d imagine that`s where the "guilt" you`re feeling comes from, but I don`t think that you should feel guilty. It sounds to me like your body`s circadian rhythm is shifted about 6 hours later than what some might call "normal."
    I only mention this because I was all set to do Circadian rhythm therapy about 4 years ago. The arrival of our second daughter halted that in its tracks, but the idea was a sound one. Obviously, a sleep therapist can speak more intelligently about this than I can...but if you are on a regular schedule, just "time-shifted" 6 or 7 hours, then it is possible to time-shift yourself into more normal hours.
    Personally, I would think about this long & hard before I tried any "ratcheting" techniques or therapy.. If you are an accountant, then except for having to periodically communicate with clients, I`m not so sure the hours you mentioned as your peak time are such a problem. In fact, you may even be able to get more done since you are not getting distracted as much by the "normal" working hour routines of everyone else.
    What you could do is then spend early parts of the day with your family. Things like: seeing your sons off to school without feeling rushed, or having more to do with their school activities. Maybe even meeting your husband for lunch. That might help with the late hour conflicts. Again, every situation is different...but finding a balance for wok & home is very important, even moreso if you`re based at home.
    Any schedule is better than no schedule at all, since a schedule will help you maintain focus. You seem to understand the importance of focus when you mention the e-mail restriction.
    Discipline in regards to distractions that masquerade as necessities (e-mail, PDA, phone, Internet) can be one of the best decisions any owner can make for the health of their business. It not only helps lay guidelines for clients, but also serves as reminder that such things are tools, and should only exist/be used to the degree that they help grow the business.
    Hope this helps!
    All best,
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    PatP3005PatP3005 subscriber Posts: 2
    Thanks RealityBoats. Those who do suffer with chemical depression have heard all of the suggestions on how to kick it. So, I don`t know about you, but I have just become VERY selective about who I talk to about it. That was my reason for being hesitant about posting here. I have the same memory issues you describe - I`m sure they are medication related. That, and again, the depression.
    NHG, thanks for the smile. My little guys were my reason for starting the business in the first place. After my second son was born, I would come home and hold him and cry. I just couldn`t leave them. And I was extremely fortunate to have an almost immediate client base when I came home to work. So I understand about getting started just to have to quit. We have an audio tape that was accidentally recorded on my (at the time) two year old`s Fischer Price tape recorder. He says, "Doogie at my wrestler!!!" in his cute two year old voice. Doogie was the dog, and the wrestlers were David`s favorite toy. Disaster! Must attend to immediately! It wasn`t easy, but we had so much fun. There is nothing better than little kids. (Unless its grandkids - don`t get me started.
    And Craig, that`s an interesting question. Yes, I did play accounting when I was a little kid. I can remember when I was about 10, making desks and in/out trays, etc. out of cardboard boxes. I would write up very important missives and carry them out. When in high school, I took Bookkeeping I. The teacher was of the old school way. No nonsense, stick to the material. If she caught you looking at your hand while calculating, she`d hit your hand with a ruler (no kidding!). But she was a great teacher. I signed up for Bookkeeping II. I was the only one in the school who did, so they told me I couldn`t take it. She heard about it and volunteered to give up her study period to teach me. I had a one on one instructor in college level accounting for free in high school. I don`t have letters after my name. But I`ve been doing accounting and taxes for a very long time. I have graduated from UHK (Univ. of Hard Knocks).
    There is a definite relationship between my health and my lack of passion. And I have an appointment this Friday with a therapist I`m not even sure it`s a lack of passion. It`s more a lack of confidence. I have lost the confidence that has always been such a big part of who I am.
    Thank you all for listening, and contributing to the post. I was in a pretty desperate place yesterday when I posted. Albeit, a place not unknown to other entrepreneurs.
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    RoughstockRoughstock subscriber Posts: 2
    I would also second the idea that perhaps your productive hours simply aren`t 9-5. I was a bartender for years and ever since then I have been ruined for the typical 9-5 workday. I have found that I am most productive in the early morning and late evening. In between, I waste time.There are obviosuly plenty of possibilities as to why you might be finding yourself less productive, and only you can really nail it down. Therapy is a great start because it can help you examine which possibilities make the most sense.I would also recommend a book I`ve found fairly helpful in increasing my  productivity: "The Now Habit" by Neil Fiore. It focuses on the idea that all those HAVE TOs actually make us less productive. Worth a look-see.Best,Jess
    Roughstock2007-2-17 18:32:15
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    katscoolcorner1katscoolcorner1 subscriber Posts: 0
    Hello Pat,
    I have been a yoga teacher and Reiki Master counselor for 12 years and if I could put my two cents in.  Yoga greatly improves your energy level and clears away the cobwebs.  The breathing greatly enhances your concentration and focus, and the stretching keeps your joints and muscles supple and limber that helps you body and mind to feel loose.  I do at least ten minutes of yoga stretching per day. 
    The other thing that I use is affirmations.  I created a CD of adult affirmations, which you can check out at www.thecircleofpeace.com</A>  go to the audio section. 
    A couple things as well.  You are obviously an expert in your field, you have passion for it and you are known.  Why not create some info products that you can market in your field, and make a little passive income for yourself, selling tax guides, or some sort of how to guides etc.  You could sell them for a couple of dollars to about $12 or more if it`s more in depth.  That way you don`t have to use up all your energy and time, but still create a steady income. 
    Lastly- When I turned 40, I felt an urgency to create, write, do, produce etc.   I felt like I wanted to leave something behind. 
    So I use this technique to motivate myself.  "If this is the last moment on the planet--Did I accomplish what I wanted to achieve?  If I piddle my time away for that morning or day, Is that acceptable to me if I die right now? 
    Usually the answer is no.  So I get into gear and push to complete another article, or newsletter entry, or get into writing on my second book or editing etc.
    I have a To Do list and I hammer away at it.  If I die but plugging away at exactly what I wanted to achieve I feel renewed and happy.  If I wake up the next day, I say "Great I have another day to create, or finish, what I started." 
    This technique has greatly boosted my productivity and keeps me focused and on track.
    We only have this moment to make nice with the partner or spouse, make a living, create and manifest your future.
    Hope it help Kat.
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    PatP3005PatP3005 subscriber Posts: 2
    Thanks Kat for your encouragement. I had posted in my original post that I had to resign a position because of my health. That involved chronic pain. And the chronic pain caused a pretty deep depression. Many doctors, hospital stays and medications later, I`m functioning. But through all of that I completely lost my confidence. You are completely right about finding ways to make a passive income. I have all kinds of plans to do that. But I kept ending up at the end of the day with no more accomplished than the day before. Because of the chronic pain, I do stretching-type exercises every night for about an hour. And that does help - a lot.
    Now that tax season is here, I have become more focused. It`s pretty clear cut. A client comes in with information, I prepare a tax return, they come back to pick it up, they pay me. I know exactly what I`m going to do that day when I wake up in the morning. And the really great thing is that my clients really are fond of me. They appreciate what I do for them. I`m much more personal than a big box company or an accounting firm. It`s just me, in my home office with the cat roaming around. All of that positive reinforcement has been EXTREMELY good for me. I`m remembering that I really am good at this.
    Now, I`m hopeful that after April 17, I will maintain the habits I have cultivated out of necessity to get through this busy time of year. I feel a certain amount of that rekindling going on in me. (The pain is also increasing because of the stress. Hopefully I can address that AND keep my motivation).
    Again, thanks for your encouragement and ideas. I`ll check them out (right after April 17   
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    katscoolcorner1katscoolcorner1 subscriber Posts: 0
    Hey Pat,
    That`s good that you stay focused, but not at the expense of greater pain.  Here is a visualization technique that I use in my yoga classes or when I`m at the dentist office. 
    I imagine that I`m on a clean beach with white soft sand.   I`m sitting or laying down on blanket, or towel and looking out at the beautiful tropical sea.  The color of the sea is green, teal, colbolt blue and ripples of purple, the sun is sparkling on the water like diamonds. 
    There is a warm breeze that is blowing through my hair and on the skin of my face and shoulders.   I hear the shushing of the breeze through the trees and the water lapping against the shore line. 
    Across the horizon is a slow moving sail boat that has a fuschia sail with a the outline of a white or yellow dolphin in the middle.  I`m sittting very calmly and peacefully and breathing in the salt air.  My whole body relaxes and I can feel a very peaceful and centered space start in the middle of my belly and gradually fill my entire being. 
    All my tension is dripping off me as I slowly continue to breathe, smell, and see the elements of this beach.  I now feel only pleasure.  Any tension or pain has completely dissolved.  I imagine that I sit there uninterrupted for at least 15 to 30 minutes, and I am completely free.  I have no obligation and my only thought is sitting on the beach and feeling this complete renewal. 
    Feel free to use my technique during tax time.  Happy sailing.  Kat.
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    PatP3005PatP3005 subscriber Posts: 2
    Jess, you are very right when you say you need the support of those around you. That`s one of the things making it difficult for me right now. My original post was asking for suggestions in dealing with different biological clocks. My husband is a lark; I`m a nightowl. I kick into high gear around 3 pm. But by the nature of  my business during this time of year (tax prep), it doesn`t matter what my biologic clock is. Customers make 9am appointments and I`m there for them. Also because of the work load its nothing for me to work 12 hours a day (I can hear Kat groaning  ). And, yes, my body is paying. But it is a realitivly short period of time (Feb-Apr - 3 months) and then I`m back to strict 9-5 work days, or less) And some days, if my body just isn`t up to it, I`ll take a day. That`s what makes working from home so great. And I`m small enough that my customers know me and understand (most of them, anyway) And the ones who don`t will either learn to love me anyway or go away. I can`t live for them.
    OK, my aren`t we getting philosophical here. Bottom line, Jess, you are right about needing support. And if you can`t find it at home, find it somewhere else. I have several close girlfriends that keep me going. And don`t get me wrong about my husband. He loves me, he`s a great guy. He just doesn`t "get" physical stuff unless he can see blood or a broken bone. And, Kat, you`re right too. I stretch every night. If I don`t, I hear from my body the next day. And you are right about sunlight. I have to be intentional about getting outside. It is amazing what just 10-15 minutes in the sun will do.
    So thanks for your feedback. That`s actually why I posted to begin with. I was having one of those days when I felt completely without support. But I knew there were more than me out there. So, thanks all. You`ve lifted me and I appreciate it....Pat
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    InactiveMemberInactiveMember subscriber Posts: 12
    I`ve had my share of hard times. Not sure if depression is an American problems but Americans do suffer from a remarkably high rate of depression. Chronic pain is never fun. A few years ago I fractured a vertebra - and get this ... I have no idea how it happened other than perhaps all those bench presses - and had a few months of significant suffering, so I really do understand how tough it can be to try and focus through pain. Not sure what I can say that might help. Sometimes spiritual approach works for me, sometimes I eat, sometimes I take a drive, sometimes I just suffer. 
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    Fiberartist219Fiberartist219 subscriber Posts: 5
    I don`t have any suggestions, but I know how you feel about being selective on who you talk to, and how pain restricts your desire to do certain things. I also know it`s annoying when the love of your life doesn`t get it and expects you to be up when he`s up.
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    Natalie222Natalie222 subscriber Posts: 33 Bronze Level Member
    edited March 2020

    I know what depression is from my own experience. So, this discussion is very helpful for me, though it is old. And it would be great how do you guys cope with it today? Has anything changed for you since medical marijuana was legalized? Personally I use CBD oil and it works great.

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