Monday Mantra

True Colors

This fun little life lesson was made very apparent to me on Friday when I had to inform someone about a huge change in my life.

Despite the news being completely business related and having little impact on the professional life of the person I told and no impact on their personal life they took the news personally and began to lash out at me.

The rest of the day I received jab after jab from them, including going so far as to question my character just because I’m making a professional change in my life.

It’s a good reminder though that I was right about my concerns and I’m making the right decision.

Now I just have to ride out the aftermath for the next few weeks…

How I’m Doing at Adulting

The answer is poorly.  Very poorly.

You know how sometimes you realize something, but then right as you begin to work on it life kicks you in the face over and over so that you can truly appreciate your weakness at handling that thing?

Yeah, the last couple of weeks have been a little bit like that.

Despite trying hard to focus on moving forward one small step at a time I feel like I am getting farther and farther behind.

On Thursday night that all sort of came to a head, even after trying hard all week to do a couple of tasks each evening after work to get back on top of my life.  It didn’t help that Homie not so gently suggested that it was all my fault and I didn’t try hard enough to take care of the situation.

Ensue full meltdown.  Obviously.

I woke up on Friday though having resolved to just continue taking baby steps forward.  I didn’t get behind on life overnight, I won’t get caught up overnight and that’s okay.  But I couldn’t fight the feeling that I’m just doing a really poor job at being an adult and managing my life…

I arrived at work early Friday morning to meet co-workers to head out of town for the day for an important meeting.  When I pulled my suit out I realized I forgot my belt.  And these suit pants are slightly too big so the hooks don’t stay closed allowing the pants to flop open (getting them tailored is one of the adult tasks I’ve been meaning to do and haven’t done).  But no problem, because there is a Target and it is open and I needed a new belt anyways.  That’s another thing on my list of things to do that I haven’t done.

I ran out the door and up to Target only to discover that they didn’t have any women’s belts.  Not one.  Not even a rack for belts!

Ah! Not to worry I thought, a leather belt is a leather belt.  I will buy a men’s leather belt.  Except they were sold out of all men’s belts except for extra large.

The only thing worse than your pants flopping open is your belt being so big that it droops down and falls like a necklace in front of your crotch and then your pants flop open.

Then I tried this…

Binder Clip Pants

I binder clipped my pants on.

Yeah… welcome to adulthood.  This isn’t quite how I thought it would go.

People ask me why I don’t have children.  What is wrong with them?  I can’t even dress myself appropriately for important meetings at work, and you want to know why I don’t have children!

So that’s about how things are going in general.  But I’m working on getting it together.  Or at least working on getting better at looking like I have it all together.

TGIF

  
It has been a rough week. 

My immediate supervisor died unexpectedly Wednesday. He turned 53 on Tuesday. 

I don’t think I can even convey how much he was loved by everyone. 

I rode my bike home last night and thought about him the whole way. 

He loved this office, he loved our people, he loved his wife and daughter, and he loved this town.

I can barely handle the thought of walking into the office and not hearing his laugh each morning. 

Frank, I’m gonna miss you buddy. 

This ride was for you.  

   

Monday Mantra

Be Gentle

I may have already declared this particular quote as a “Monday Mantra” but it fits for this week.

I have been fighting incredibly hard not to feel stressed out by my particular co-worker.  Last week I feel like I kind of lost that battle.  By Friday I felt worn out, I felt like I didn’t know how much longer I could last.

I know that’s not really the case.  It’s just that by the end of the week I was really feeling late nights, my cousin’s cancer, being sick, and the flurry of things that need to be done before Mergsie’s wedding.  I didn’t have the energy left to deal with my co-worker.  But I hate that it wore me down so fast.

I only have a four-day work week.  I need to focus on being patient with my co-worker, she is obviously struggling mightily and it leaves her feeling stressed and vulnerable.  I need to give her grace.  But I also can’t beat myself up if I need to close my door for 30 minutes and have some space.

So be gentle with yourself this week, that’s my goal.

Co-Workers

That should probs just be “co-worker”.  There’s just one.  But isn’t there always that one.

The worst part about my co-worker is that at the office, we’re actually friends.  Out of everyone there she’s my work friend.  She’s the one I run to the post office and pharmacy with.  She’s the one I gossip with.  She’s the one I grab when I’m stressed and need to walk around the block.  She comes into my office and tells me what’s going on in her personal life.  We get lunch together and run errands with each other.

But as co-workers, actually working together… I can’t stand her.  She’s awful.  And it’s terrible.  And she makes me want to leave my job and run away.

The problem is, I don’t even know what the problem is.  The problem is her.  And I’m not quite sure why.

She gets along with no one.  Many people in the office barely tolerate her.  She’s loud and brash, she’s often negative and overly harsh, she’s always stressed out.  But she’s genuine and honest and smart and she always strives to do her best.  And there’s something appealing to me about someone who is so brutally honest to your face that it makes you kind of hate them.

There’s nothing I hate more than fake people.  I have no doubt that whatever she says about me to other people can’t be any worse than the things she might feel compelled to say to my face.

To me, there’s a comfort in being around someone who is brutally and shockingly honest all the time.  I find it reassuring, I can know it’s real.  I can trust that.

But to work on a project with, she’s difficult.  She’s a somewhat poor communicator and she freaks out over little tiny things and she tries to control things that aren’t her business and she lashes out when things aren’t going the way she expected or she is disappointed.

And she’s negative.  She is soul sucking in her negativity.  All the positive emotion and energy is completely zapped from the room when she is in it.  She carries with her tension so thick you nearly smother in it.

I don’t like psycho-analyzing people and suggesting diagnosis for their behavior because I think it’s not fair.  But I don’t know how to describe her behavior as anything other than possibly bi-polar.  It is draining and exhausting.  One conversation she is kind and thoughtful and then a few hours later she is argumentative and angry and harsh.

Things were so terrible with her this week that every day I worked with her I came home and cried.  I reached out to an executive at another office to chat with him about possible employment.  Then on Thursday she came into my office with a birthday gift for me.  She spent hours making me a bracelet and bookmark.  And they are incredible and beautiful.  After I thanked her she tried to boss me around and argue over our work project.

Someone asked me when she is real.  Is she real when she’s angry and bitter or is she real when she’s kind and thoughtful.  And I had to answer that I have no idea.  There is equal strength in the emotions she exhibits on both sides.  I can’t detect a more genuine tone to either one.

From conversations with her I am nearly positive that she doesn’t mean to be so negative or mean.  But she also is completely unaware and incapable of hearing how she speaks to other people.  It’s truly sad.  Sometimes when she is arguing with people in the office I hear her and I can tell by her tone and what she is saying that she is striving with every fiber to be polite and professional.  But her voice comes out condescending and mocking.  She sounds fake.  She sounds like she’s speaking down to them, when really she is trying to stay calm even when she’s upset.  And sometimes she comes to my office and asks how it went.  I’m honest with her.  It went terribly.  But she doesn’t hear it in her own voice.  I don’t know how to explain it or show her if even when I explain or imitate her voice in the conversation she can’t hear that somehow her emotions come through and speak louder than her words.

I’m on a team with her because no one else will work with her.  And even I had to tell my boss on Tuesday that I am happy to work on this project with her, but I can’t be the only one.  I need to be on another team after this project is over.  My boss expressed to me that he is concerned that either I or our other team member will leave because of her.  I didn’t know how to answer because I’d already contacted an executive and our other team member had admitted to me that on Tuesday she went home and cried and considered just quitting.

I have another three weeks until she goes on vacation and I find myself counting down and trying not to take her comments so heart.  But it is emotionally draining.

Changes

I’m kind of sad today.  One of the people I work with is leaving and today is her last day.  Lots of people have left in the past year, lots.  Out of the 25 something people in the office less than 10 were here when I started last year ( and that includes our cleaning staff).

But this person is special.  She stays above the drama, she works hard, she is excellent at her job, and she went above and beyond to make sure that I had a smooth transition.

When I first started she made a point of coming to me and asking if I had any questions, showing me how to do things and offering to let me sit in and learn.  She is fantastic at her job and she gets along with everyone.

On top of all of that, she’s a total beast person.  She has three daughters who she is raising as a single mom and she works her ass off every single day to provide for them and be there.

She’s taking a job that gives her a promotion, a raise, more responsibility and the opportunity for performance pay, more time with her kids, and eliminates her terrible commute.

I’m so happy for her.  But selfishly, I’m really really going to miss her.  She’s one of two people in the office who I want to emulate.  She is professional, smart, and not afraid to speak her mind.  So while I’m happy that she is able to make such a fantastic change personally, I’m sad that I’m going to miss her.

The Summary of the Last Few Weeks

The last few weeks have been kind of crazy.

For about a month I was waking up before my alarm went off feeling wide awake and refreshed.  The past two weeks I have slept through my alarm and woken up every morning feeling tired, wrung out, and miserable.  I’m not sure why.  I’m going to bed at the same time, but I’ve been exhausted and I need it to stop.  I can’t function like this.  Plus, it’s not fun.

I’ve been biking to work and it has been glorious.  I’m so excited.  Cutting Metro out of my life has improved my quality of life so much.  That sounds dramatic or like it certainly must be an overstatement but it really isn’t.  More on this later.

Things really aren’t good with my cousin.  We found out this past week that the type of cancer he has only makes up about 2% of the cases.  It’s also virtually unheard of for this type of cancer to occur in a child over the age of 4.  On top of that there are some super crazy issues going on, but they all boil down to he needs chemo and radiation and it’s a very intense treatment and he is seriously malnourished.  That’s a huge can of worms that I haven’t gone in to yet.  But it’s not pretty.  The behavior of his mom is getting more blatant and scary and I’m just hoping that even without the benefit of time that the medical team sees her behavior for what it is.

We found a way to compost!!!  I’m so pumped about this I can’t even tell you.  It’s awesome.

I have been off meat for a while now.  I haven’t been able to stomach hamburgers for a few years, and for the last year and a half I can’t do red meat at all.  Chicken doesn’t taste good anymore and I’m tired of bothering with meat for the sake of meat.  I still cook it for Homie, but I’ve been trying to broaden his horizons.  I broached the topic of just eating as a pescetarian and Homie wasn’t really interested but said he didn’t care what I did.  I made a few things the last couple of weeks that he was obsessed with and he asked me if we could please do a meatless month for August.  Umm heck to the yes.

There are lots of things going on right now and some are good and some are not, it has been a little overwhelming transitioning into some new lifestyle choices.  I felt awesome at first, but I’ve been stressed the last few weeks.  I feel like I need a vacation and I’m about to collapse.  I’m trying to press through this.

This past week was one year at my job and I found myself kind of hating it for the first time.  I feel like going one year before I have a day where I hate it is a great run!  And while the things that made me hate it won’t go away, I think they are actually helpful for motivating me to continue pursuing my end goals.