Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Shaking It Off
Yesterday was my favorite kind of day, October weather when everything smells earthy, the sky is dark, the wind is howling, tree limbs scratch the siding on the house, leaves are flying off the trees and landing in bright colorful displays on backdrops of green grass and gray concrete.
When I started the day I didn't feel so great, it was a work hangover morning. I woke up at 7:30 am, late for me, and missed the best opportunity to get over to the pool. I decided to put that off until Tuesday. I worked 10 hours Saturday and 8 on Sunday but it was still tiring.
I like the people I work with on the weekends, that always helps. No matter how busy it gets, it seems like we work well together. And of course I always hear the latest news, as if this would be any surprise by now, I found out two more nurses I used to work with are leaving. There must be a reverse polarity magnet around here...
So yesterday morning in my brain fog, I got out for a walk with Iris and then a run in the afternoon, and both times I brought my phone so I could take pictures.
When we started on the walk, my neighbor was on her way to work, she pulled over and put her window down and we talked. Her work hours have been cut and her husband is furloughed from his federal job, and they are struggling.
She asked me how my change at work is going, and I told her I can't tell the difference yet. One more week like that and then I have 2 1/2 weeks away from there, which will give me time to reclaim myself again and get back to my own stuff.
I purposely didn't give myself a lot to do since I knew I could feel like that. I did get some work done and then it was afternoon, so I went out to run for an hour. I wanted to go down by Warren Lake and the neighborhood south of there, so many trees with beautiful colors in the fall. It was perfect timing. I'm glad I did it then since it could snow later this week and the leaves will be gone soon.
At lunch on Sunday I sat outside on the patio and there was a table full of people talking. I sat at another table by myself and listened. It's funny to see how some people stuff their feelings, and you know they're seething inside, but they try so hard to make things look pretty on the outside, even though nobody's life is as smooth and unflawed as they try to make it seem. It was interesting that at one table of five people, some people had every excuse and apology in the book for the same things that other people found completely unacceptable.
I prefer to express myself honestly. I'd rather be true to myself, and keep my sanity and self-respect. Holding things in is too stressful. Stress does all kinds of horrible things to your body and I'm now paying for that. Of course I'm still having to hold some of it in, because I can't name it, but it's coming out in other ways.
For nearly five years I volunteered a huge amount of my energy, effort, and time into some projects, that were very important to me, personally and professionally. I spoke face to face with the people who were making it happen, multiple times, and made no secret of my interest and willingness to lend my knowledge and skills, which were a great fit for the project. I naively expected that I would get the courtesy of a return email or face-to-face conversation when about a year ago I reiterated my interest and offered even more of my time and energy in making one particular project go forward.
You would think you'd be able to get an answer without having to chase people down for months. You would think that you could be in the same room with someone and they could speak to you one-on-one instead of avoiding you and running away at every opportunity.
After putting four or five years of your life into something you'd think you'd get that much. As I said, I guess that was naïve of me to expect that professional courtesy. Anyway, for a while I was devastated and hurt, and then I got angry, and then I realized that I could wait the rest of my life but the decision was out of my hands from the very beginning and I have been used. I was too trusting and then later found out that this is not the first time this chain of events has occurred, and I'm not the first person who has experienced this.
I suppose when you give so much of yourself you are at risk for being taken advantage of by people who think they can just take and take and take, and they certainly did. I still hope that whatever I gave will serve a good purpose for someone, someday.
Another situation came to light today, the stadium deal for CSU is looking worse all the time. Still, you know that those holding the power will push for this, it doesn't matter if it's a bad idea for the people of Fort Collins or for the students at the university.
I wonder when people are going to have enough. I'm not very old, but maybe I am showing my age, that I get outraged by things that seem so unjust and unethical. Maybe I'm just a hopeless idealist. Maybe I'm a dinosaur. Maybe I'm just naïve as hell in thinking that there's some injustice in squeezing the life out of the little guys so the big guys can enrich themselves. Maybe I'm just clinging to a utopian fantasy!
It's sad when politics, favoritism, shortsightedness, insecurity, and incompetence get in the way of things, but that is the way of the corporate world on corporate money-tainted legislation-enabled steroids. Big entities can abuse their power in so many ways these days. It's gotten to the point where people, human beings, are being squeezed to death, there's so much abuse of power, exemplified in the current government shutdown.
Before this post gets too morose, I have to interject this bit of hilarity. I don't have TV and I tend to avoid pop culture, but the uproar over Miley Cyrus and her performance at the VMA barely caught my awareness when it happened. I read the outraged comments of so many people who thought she should have been less or more...whatever. I really didn't care. But then I saw this clip from her performance on Saturday Night Live and I became somewhat of a Miley Cyrus fan. This is about the funniest thing I've seen in a long time.
So I'm slowly and still a little painfully moving on to smaller things. I don't need the reminders of the big power-wielding entities and they are everywhere. But eventually I will be better off following my own path.
I know my own path, as hard as it will be, will ultimately be much more colorful and unique, more satisfying to me. But most of all, I know it will be effective and do what I value most in serving other people as human beings.
As a utopian dinosaur, I still believe that beating people down in the name of powerful interests is morally wrong.
Mother Teresa said, "If we have no peace, it's because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."