Rambling On…

Idiot — 03/25/2008


Maybe that is an unfair title. I think that most of the time, I am not an idiot. But there are a few things that I am repeatedly stupid about and no matter how many identically bad experiences I have, I do the same thing over and over again.

The first thing is having too many things going on at once. It does very bad things to me, but I think it is unavoidable. To stop it, I would need to stop working and learn how to be happy being even more broke than I already am. I am lucky to have help from people and be able to live a good life, but I want to be able to contribute my fair share. Plus, I am a geek and geeking costs money.

The second thing is insanely undercharging for my work. I learn things from one time to the next and try to avoid past mistakes, but it still happens almost every time. I am working on a project now that has easily taken 10x as long as I thought it would, and I was already providing a huge discount. I love the site and I really enjoy working with the client, but I am making about $2/hr. again. It is my own fault too. I was happy to provide the discount. In a short amount of time, the site was created and most of the content entered.

The organization had wanted a lot of features but did not have the budget for them. I provided a list of things that could be done for their budget and all was good.

Right around that same time, I started working on another site for an organization of a similar size and with similar needs. This organization had found a great online solution that would do everything my client wanted for a relatively small monthly fee. I told him about it and we switched the project over to the new system. My job was to design the site, build the template, and add content from the old site.

This is where I become an idiot.

I did not charge extra for this even though the site was practically finished in the original system. Why not? Because I thought that it was my “fault” that we switched systems because I suggested it. I am pretty sure that does not make any sense.

As I look at the itemized estimate that I sent, I realize that I had completely forgotten about it. The estimate was great. Stated exactly what was included and what was not and how much it would cost for things that were not included.

Since the price was so low, template customization was not included beyond the very basics. This was reinforced under the ‘Assumptions’ part of the estimate which states that the design is not custom. Since then, I have customized several templates heavily and built the final one from scratch, including custom images. I also threw in a flash slideshow.

I am very happy with the site and so is my client. There is still more work to be done, but it is near the end. I did not charge him extra for anything. I had told him that I would let him know if something would cost extra. Somehow, it never occurred to me to do this.

I like my client and his organization and knew they were on a budget. There is a part of me that really wants the site to be as good as possible with whatever system we are using, and that part of me took over the job. I could have stayed with the first system and never even mentioned the new one. The site would have been exactly what he contracted for. I also could have suggested converting to the new system as a separate project with a new estimate. I did not do either of those things.

I am confused. At this point, I am sure that the only chance I have of working is to work for myself. I am lucky to love what I do and to be good at it, but how long will I keep working for $2/hr.? All of my clients make way more money than I do and I doubt any would consider working for that price. I don’t know what to do. Everybody I talk to has tons of “Why don’t you just…” solutions. They make it sound so easy, but it is not. If I could just… I would!

Rehab might pay for me to take a 10 week business course with a “tutor” to come with me and translate afterwards. I wonder if that will help. I can barely imagine being in a class for 3 hrs. twice a week plus time with the tutor, but I feel like I have to try if given the opportunity.

K is very busy at work too. We have 4 sets of houseguests coming in the next 4 months. More things, but it will be nice to see everyone. I hope I can get all of my work done by then. Not likely since my folks are coming on Friday. Oy. I better get back to work now.

Too Hard — 03/02/2008

Too Hard

It is so hard to do things lately. Too hard. Hard to think. Hard to work. Hard to play. There are very few people that I can stand to be around. The rest make my skin crawl.

It is loud in my head. Too loud. Sometimes it is background noise. Now it is very loud. I hate it. Sometimes it gets so loud it hurts. Hurts like an ice-pick being jammed into my head repeatedly. That keeps happening lately. I don’t know why. Emergency meds help, but knock me out. Sometimes K can help. Not really sure how she does it. Thanks K.

When it is bad like that, it makes me cry. I hate that. I try to avoid it for as long as possible. Still, it almost always happens anyway. I know that crying isn’t bad but I hate it. Brings back bad memories. Crying is not bad now but it used to be. It can make everything worse if people are messing with you. Nobody messes with me now. Just my own brain. Ridiculous.

I say that I am an autistic person who does not want to be cured, but when things are so bad, I am not sure if that is true. When I woke up this morning, I was confused and disoriented and it was very loud in my head. I didn’t have enough energy to deal with it. I just wanted to wake up like a normal person does. Sometimes I want to be ‘normal’ so bad. I want to be able to work. I want to be able to play video games. I want to read. I want to be around people easily. I want to be able to make plans ahead of time. I can’t do that now. I never know what life will be like from one minute to the next. I hate that.

I am whining and complaining. I am very lucky in about a million ways but sometimes I have to get bad things out of my head. This morning when I woke up, the only way I could think of was to pound on my head with my fist. I know that is not a good way to do it. But it helps. Like cutting and burning do. I don’t do those things anymore. I think that writing is better than those other ways but you have to be able to think to be able to write. At least enough to get paper, pen, computer, whatever.

Lately it is hard to remember things for more than a second. Worse than usual. Not sure why things are like this now. Probably because there are too many things going on. It happens every time but still I choose to believe that it will be different the next time. It never is. But I can’t give up hope. Things always get better. Then there are too many things again. Then things get bad again. circle circle circle circle circle. 41 years going around that circle. It is all I know. It is not all bad. Lots of good parts too. I am rambling.

Went to the water. It helped a little. Nice day out. If there was a magic pill that would make me better, would I take it? I don’t really know. Anybody reading this who thinks about these kinds of things, would you take it? I am confused.