Eclipsed and Bitter

And tongue-in-cheek as ever. That’s a good sign.

I’m recording my thoughts in real time, to edit and add to during the day from my desk. My ugly, utilitarian desk in a warehouse in an ugly industrial complex in the bowels of Salt Lake City. I should be enjoying the TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE, complete with good viewing weather, and that amazing, once-in-a-lifetime solar corona, in my beautiful, mythic Western Idahome.

But I’m not. Because my family sucks. And I fit right in, ‘cuz I suck the hardest!

I’m getting my wicked sense of humor and strange spirituality back, the dance between naughty and nice I enjoy about my life, and I’m on the road to recovery. But make no mistake: This day is not easy for me, and I’m very cranky about it.

IT WAS MY BIRTHRIGHT, you bastards!

Bitter is easier than weepy. *sigh*

I’m drinking a 6-pack of cold Coronas with lime after work to commemorate missing the cosmic corona of my life. That’s something I couldn’t do if I’d experienced this day with my family, with God, and the Mormons.

So there’s that.

*SOUR!*

I’m quite enjoying full indulgence in this tantrum, if I’m honest. It’s fun, and a relief from pressure to call on the strength of my higher self. I’m actually doing much better emotionally, having given myself permission to just be a brat. I’m not adulting today.

****

Hashtag This Is Happening!

The moment I saw the eclipse beginning I started hooping in the parking lot of my ugly industrial building, and making a TOTAL FOOL OF MYSELF, in honor of the total solar eclipse I’m still furious for missing. We’re visible from a very busy road.

I’ve been laughing so hard! It feels good to lose it.

It’s been a long time since I did anything other than cry and rage. Hardest summer/romantic break-up/familial divorce/pet emergency of my LIFE!

Seriously, Universe? Why you gotta pile on? What else you got for me?! I can take maybe one more thing, and then you better lay off while I do the work of getting myself re-situated and well.

Let this partial solar eclipse – that I’m pissed as hell about – be that one more thing, the cosmic smack-down that I’m finally willing to listen to, and have done with it. 91% is NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

And guess what? I accept it. OK, Universe? I accept. I’m okay with that right now.

And I’m having fun! I’m so relieved.

*sigh*

****

Well, I just hula hooped for an hour in my parking lot with coworkers. I don’t even have jealousy in my heart for missing the TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE in my Idahome town.

91% ain’t bad, folks. Not bad at all. I’ll take it! … With joy, with zeal, and maybe even a modicum of humility for a minute.  

*sigh*

My mom always warned me, “Perfect is the enemy of good.”
Dare I say it? … Mother was right.

That really was cosmic, and I feel great.

bowing to the mother

warehouse meeting~ Supervisor Mark getting in on the ridiculous ~

When I learned my boss had gone to Burning Man one year, and came to know more about his wonderful wackiness, I said, “I KNEW this was the right job for me!”

He’s been a great friend. He’s retiring in December, and I’m sorry to see him go.

(I’m not the best hooper – won’t devote myself to consistent practice – but one thing I’m good at is getting the shy-folk to JUST TRY IT. I won’t take no for an answer, whether you like it or not, and I love this pic of my colleagues in the hoop.)

We’ve been Eclipsed.

corona

I ended a beautiful day with Corona-and-lime to commemorate the Solar Corona I missed not going north to Idaho. That’s something I couldn’t do if I’d spent the eclipse with my family, with God, and the Mormons. Perfect!

Tug-of-War with Tonglen

Ugh!

I played too hard over Memorial Day weekend to feel sufficiently rested for work, and I am cranky. http://dreamermadwoman.blogspot.com/2013/06/san-rafael-swell.html I started out the morning being friendly enough with my office mate. I felt patient as she recounted everything that’s happened since we saw each other last week. For about an hour. Then I tuned her out and began a new project I’d been handed. However, as per usual, I was given no instructions with my assignment and quickly grew resentful when the natural investigative resources I have were exhausted and I simply sat in need of TRAINING, already! Meanwhile, the crone at the other desk is still talking about her 2 pulmonary embolisms. And eating a cinnamon roll.

I didn’t want to bother my manager, who assigned the task, because her instructions had been to ask my officemate, should I have any questions. This time, my co-worker can’t even try to explain it to me – starting at the dawn of time – because she just doesn’t know. So she stands over my shoulder shouting in my ear, “Try this. Try that.”

I DID!!!!!

And… she spits.

I wonder if I really need this. My friend Dave, who got me into Africa Heartwood Project, works for the city and comes to my office every now and then. He asked me 2 weeks ago on the way to another performance with the group how I like it here. I confessed I didn’t yet and why (the training issue, not my disdain for a poor, infirm woman). He reported that this office seems to go through a lot of temps. “Maybe that’s why,” he speculated.

I’m miserable.

Is this a chance to practice a new spiritual/life skill or is it just a waste of my time? I’m an awesome temp. I’m always working. I don’t need to feel like this. It’s certainly not worth the wage. Is this an instance of wishing to avoid uncomfortable situations and emotions or can I simply leave a circumstance that doesn’t suit me or meet my needs? (“Simply,” in that context, meaning without feeling disappointed in myself for not following through or finding a workable solution.) I cannot be a useful employee here because no one will demonstrate what’s expected of me. I’m bored and aggravated.

I don’t know what to do.

“So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.” – Benjamin Franklin

Professional Challenge

Even while closing yesterday’s rant, I had the thought that this might be an opportunity to live Tonglen. I only recently discovered the concept for myself. So far it has uplifted and excited me. Now it’s real. Tonglen is not easy. Tonglen is a tool that requires application, discipline, and intent.

I intend to succeed. I don’t know what that will look like. To date, when she’s begun a new story (which she finished 5 minutes ago), I’ve not responded at all. I totally ignore her. I feel so rude. I’ve tried the polite, silent smile or a glance of acknowledgement, but it’s fuel. Best to continue unresponsive. I think she’s used to it, sadly. She doesn’t seem to notice. The challenge is to not curse her every time she speaks.

Additionally, I must recommit to doing my job with integrity. I confess, hating my post, I have phoned it in. I resent that I have no training, yet I’m charged with a task I have no resources to complete… except to ask her. (Remember, she’s growing senile. She can still do it, but she can’t demonstrate how! And she starts at the advent of this strange box called Computer!!!) Worse, asking for her help is an invitation to hear her script. She begins with renewed vigor, and recites ALL OF IT.

My response has been not to do it, my job. “What do I care?” I rationalize. “I’m a dirty temp.” And, “What are they gonna do, fire me?”

Awful!

I have defined my new professional challenge. I accept this opportunity to live Tonglen. Ugh.

Job [Dis]Satisfaction

It would be hard to overstate how much I dislike my current assignment. I’m surprised, really, by how difficult a time I’m having here. I LOATHE this place! I’ve withheld judgement during the learning curve, which can be… bitchy (on the inside, only, cuz I know me and I know it’ll go away). However, I’ve been here for a month now and my disdain only grows. In fact, it’s becoming personal.

I hate the people I work with, except for one, who is quirky, stylish, smart, hard-working, and ambitious [simultaneously pursuing graduate degree], and the others who just do their boring tasks quietly, if vacantly. The 2 women whose professional lives most impact mine NEVER SHUT UP. I’ve tried to be patient, because I’ve had/ will again have this problem myself. But seriously, shut up! What makes you think we care about the minutia of every nuance of every idea and event in your life!?

One is very old. Seventy-nine! She should have retired five years ago at the very least. She doesn’t take care of herself, eats candy and doughnuts all day, then complains about the consequences. I know how thick her blood is, and she showed me her cellulitis!!!

She thinks her conscious stream of thought interests everyone else, and she’s losing her memory. “She must be very lonely,” I tell myself, urging patience. I’m a story repeater, after all, finding myself so utterly engaging and my stories so entertaining that they warrant second, third, and life-long reiterations. She was surely this character, too, when she was bright, young, and relevant. But I cannot take it. (Of course, I can.) Still, I want to crawl out of my skin or tear into hers!

I worked in hospice, for god’s sake! I’m terrible.

I haven’t struggled with guilt like this… ever. I’ve felt exceedingly blessed by the seeming-effortless skill I have of recognizing guilt as a signal for repair and restitution, or simply a destructive emotion that, not serving me, is quickly discarded. I’ve never sat in guilt this long. Feelings of hostility plague me; their amplitude alarms me. It’s affecting my life, and I’m in charge of that choice.

So I feel angry with myself for giving that power away, and giving so much sway to base and compassionless emotions. I actually have compassion training! I feel weak and defeated. And ever-impatient, screaming inside, “SHUT THE _____ UP!!!”

This woman makes the other prattling municipal drone intolerable, when normally I could tune her out like an inconsequential gnat. “You are not clever,” I want to inform her. “And saying the same sarcastic thing 3 different ways does not change that.”

I consider the practice of Tonglen. I breathe them in, because we are all irritating. I breathe them in because we are all irritated with our fellowman and our jobs some days. I breathe in my anger and personal failings, because we all fail. I breathe out patience, compassion, and understanding for myself and others, all the while feeling fake, ungrateful, and empty. I’ve spent time praying that I can stand to do this for a year. I made a commitment I wish to honor. Furthermore, I have a lot to learn, gain, and offer here. I also feel vulnerable being so candid about the ugliest parts of myself. Right now I just feel like crying. It’s the first time I’ve given concrete voice to what’s been sapping my energy for the entirety of this, my favorite month of blessed early Spring.

“God loves April babies more, but May’s his favorite month.” And I’m a total bitch.

Word On The Street

I sound like a redhead!

The lovely woman who’s been assisting me in this super fun assignment at a car dealership told me the most curious thing this morning. Her sister calls quite a bit, it seems, and said to her, “I just love Christie! What does she look like?”

Darlene described me.

“That’s exactly how I imagined her! You have to take a picture!” Ha!

As for the super fun position? In 2 days, the salesmen had given me a nickname (Tiny Dancer). In 2 weeks, I’ve had 2 dates with 2 different gents, and I get chatted up more here than I have in my entire life! Very reassuring for the 40-year-old ego…

So far, I’m 3 for 3 at being offered (in some cases, begged to take) the full-time position. Very reassuring for the professional ego…  

Wonder if I sound like I’m going gray. 🙂

Work Conversation

I got the phone call. I can see why her patients and families love her so much. With that lilting Irish accent she told me, “I’m here with John Doe, but he’s not here with me. He’s floating on angel’s wings above us.” I assured her I’d text the team. “I got here at 3:15,” she said, “so we’ll say 3:00. He liked neat, even things. He died at 3 o’clock.”

Work Breakdown

Well, it happened. I had a meltdown at the new job. I was plugging along just fine, behind and stressed, but fine. I haven’t put too much pressure on myself to be 100% just yet, because I only took over the reins entirely one week ago. But then I woke up with excrutiating back pain. Bad-enough-to-see-a-doctor pain. I don’t do that. “It’ll pass.” Then I ran into a roadblock with a stupid Excel spreadsheet. (“Why the hell are they using Excel for this?”) One or the other I could bear alone, but combined – bam! I lost it. Everyone was so worried and attentive, which only made it worse. (“Just let me go to the supply closet for 2 minutes. Don’t look! Nothing’s happening here!”) I hate getting caught being human.

I feel like my body is falling apart. It’s nearly June and I’ve been in pain ALL YEAR. I’ll tell ya, I don’t know how people with chronic pain conditions function in the day-to-day. It consumes everything! I have a secret fear that I am now one of those people. This crazy auto-immune diagnosis and unremitting pain for six months straight? Please don’t let me be one of those people. It will go away. It will go away…

As for the spreadsheet, it doesn’t work. I’m changing it. And the pain will go away.

Also, I love the people I work with. They’re, like, so nice!