Old Fashioned Work Ethic

The idea that a workplace is a workplace seems oddly old fashioned. Folks seem to crave an artificial family, emotional support. We all seek allies, that is sensible, time-honored and appropriate to a degree. But trying to find an emotional life at work is ridiculous. Because the person you want to bond with may be the person who has to write you up or fire you. Nobody seems to get it that when you go to work you leave your personal shit at the door, suit up, pate on a smile and do your best. I listen to people talking about their personal problems all day long at work when they are supposed to be working. It is downright tiring. In the same category, I am pretty well sick to death of listening to people complain about their jobs. I don’t love my job some days, but I am pretty darn grateful to have it. Especially in these times when there are literally millions out of work. I am constantly tempted to say “if you don’t like it, find another one”. But I don’t. I am even more astounded that managers permit people to spew negativity and then wonder why they aren’t productive. It is interesting that my emotionally sensitive son (and yes, he really is) has always had a problem with the emotional ups and downs of life. When things are difficult, he tends to just tank in his school work or other commitments. We talked about this recently, about the idea that you sometimes just have to keep going, despite life handing you lemons. You don’t have to make lemonade but you have to stay on track. This is just one of those lessons you just have to learn, at least I think so. Obviously a lot of folks don’t learn it since they seem to think that their employment is a god given right and not a gift. Old fashioned I guess.

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In the Here and Now

Too much life, I wasn’t kidding. I suppose if I was younger I would have more energy for all the various things I have to do. On the other hand I am doing them. On another hand, if I was younger my parents wouldn’t be old and my son wouldn’t be a teenager. So there is order in the universe, it is just too much universe. Or something. They say that the busier you are the more you accomplish. I think that is only true to some precarious breaking point where you never finish anything and forget to do hundreds of things. That must be right before you have a breakdown? Maybe my memory is just going, hard to know. Am I too busy or am I demented? What a choice. I feel as if I am living all the American headlines. Losing your home? That was almost us. We got lucky. Squeezed between kids and parents? That is us. Loss of job? Meet my long suffering spouse. The good news is that we are luckier than many; we are still in our home, I still have a job and nobody is seriously ill. Yep, that is the good news. The bad news seems to be that I am slowly losing my mind. The struggle to live in the now, to just be grateful, to find joy grows greater these days. But really, to be effective, its not supposed to be a struggle.

Too Much Life

Good Grief, three weeks since I wrote last, too long. Very much has happened in my life and we are all still settling down. People who know me, see me and ask how I am (most know there has been much stress) and I am simply not sure. I am not sick, I am not feeling bad, I am not depressed. I am overwhelmed most of the time. At least recently. My father has moved into our home. And I think it will be ok. He has lived alone for decades and it must be a terrible time for him to accustom himself to house rules and other people’s habits. It must be terrible to think that you have to be dependent or that you need to give up your home, your space, your ability to make all your own decisions. It must be hard to eat on someone else’s schedule instead of going out for chinese at 10 p.m. It must be extra hard, at eighty-one, to have to learn where all the stores are, the banks, the gas stations, when you’ve been going to the same places for the same decades. It is hard, too, from this side of the equation, to try to incorporate a lot of someone else’s things into my home. Trying to figure out where guests will sleep and having to spend a great deal of time sorting through someone else’s belongings. So, it is hard all around. Suck it up I say. What an opportunity to do something good, to pay back the help he has given me. Truth be told, we haven’t had a particularly “normal” father-daughter relationship; he isn’t your usual sort of dad. But he loves me I know, and he has always been willing to bail me out. So it is my turn to bail him out. The answer to the question of how I am is that I am just having a little too much life at the moment. Someone asked me today why I was doing it, why I didn’t send him to an assisted living facility. First, he wouldn’t go, he would just have chosen to remain in his home, at risk. Second, what other answer is there than that he is my father. Isn’t that enough?