Sunday, September 10, 2017

BC

The last three weeks have been a whirlwind. New job, not just one that requires a lot of me physically, but also mentally.

The first 8 days were relatively soft. A lot of learning new things, a little corporate sabotage from people who didn't like me for no reason that I gave them, and a fair amount of handling expensive equipment with a lot of care.

On the ninth day, everything changed. I was moved to a different department; new people, new equipment, new methodology, new responsibilities. For once I have a job that not only taxes my body, but also my mind. When I'm there, that's what I'm thinking about, and I don't have the bandwidth to work on my own personal creative projects in my head... though that doesn't stop me from thinking about people who are important to me.

But when I get home, I'm trashed. The commute is traffic-rich, so even as zen as I can be, it still doesn't provide the meditative cooling I need. And when I get home, I don't have that either, because I was running a housesitting gig: two weeks and change that ended this afternoon. My folks.

Dad had a problem scant hours from their destination, and made the call to turn around. Ninety-five percent of the way to a several day break from travelling and stress and they make the call to turn around. That's not a call I would have made.

The point of the trip was because people are getting older, and traveling is getting harder, and they wanted to visit with dad's cousins who were in BC for one last peek at their grandkids before a permanent retire from traveling in the UK. They were on our continent.

They cut out early because of the same reason that they went on the trip. Because people are getting older and travel gets harder. They were seven hours from their destination.

They headed south for the states. Their destination was en route to the states.

They stayed in Washington for a few days, to get Dad stabilized, make sure things didn't get worse. I got a message that they were in an area with bad reception a couple of days ago... and then nothing. Couldn't tell me where with no reception, could have been headed back up to Vancouver for all I know, could have been six miles up, swinging by the ISS; nothing.

And today it's my fault that I didn't inquire every day on Dad's condition.

When you're physically and mentally exhausted, the days blur together. You don't have a lot of spare room for thinking outside what routine you have. Between the work and the gig, I only had time for me, for creativity, for freedom of though two days a week. Saturday and Sunday.

From my perspective, they went dark before I did. I know mom was focused on getting home, back on familiar territory as quickly as possible, without straining dad. I knew dad was in pain.

And when I'm dealing with shit like that, I get cold. I stop thinking about all the things and the ways and just focus on what's at hand, what I can control. The last thing I want is to be reminded of could have beens.

It's not that I wasn't thinking about them, or the animals in my care. I just didn't have anything I could do about the situation, so I stayed out of the way, didn't dredge up anything.

But I don't do excuses any more. I bear the lashing, make apologies, try to learn from it, and move on. Excuses just waste everyone's time.

Expect trying to tell my side of the story is different from making excuses.

Friday, June 16, 2017

9

I get happy, I get comfortable. And I let my guard down. That's the problem.

I've been trying to be optimistic, trying to turn myself into a happier person, on step at a time. I'm trying to make happiness a habit.

But I find something I like doing, I get complacent with controlling my emotions, my body language, my tone, and somebody--a supervisor, a boss, the owner--sees something they don't like and I'm gone.

I want to be happier. I want to be more optimistic. But professionally, in work and job, pessimism did so much better for me. When I'm convinced that something's going to go wrong, when I'm constantly concerned about making a mistake, stepping on someone's toes... when I'm cold and emotionless inside, and on the outside I'm playing it safe and not taking chances, and not letting anybody actually see me...

That's when I don't get fired on my ninth day just because I got unclear directions.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Neighborly

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that I have anger issues. Not in the sense that I lash out and hit anyone, but my voice rises, my language intensifies, and when someone proceeds to then interrupt me, I get very defensive.

About six weeks ago, I was pulling into the driveway of my residence (happens to be owned by my parents, and that's mostly not relevant). The recycling truck hadn't yet come around, so the bins were still out, and because I park far enough down the drive so the the car that sits ahead of me (inside the garage) can get out, I had to back up a few feet from where I swerved to from around the bins.

I've done this a million times. I know where my car's wheels are with respect to the driveway without having to look. Also helps that I don't drive an obscenely large land-yacht. I have a small car.

This day was of course different. It would have to be to be worth mentioning.

This day, one of my neighbors (west side, mostly not relevant) was taking their dog outside. The dog was off-leash as he often is, and strayed out of his yard as he often does (mostly relevant). The dog ran up behind my car as I was reversing into my spot. I saw him leave his yard and head towards the driveway that I was occupying. The owner of this dog followed, and ran up behind a moving car with reversing lights illuminated. She should have been old enough to know better than running up behind a reversing car.

I stopped seeing the dog and started seeing the girl at about the same time and stopped the car.

Once she gained control of the dog and escorted him back to her property, I finished parking my car, and exited the vehicle.

And then I promptly yelled at her for having the dog off-leash.

She runs into the house, crying, and within seconds, her mother and older brother are standing in their driveway shouting and threatening me. I approach the edge of my residence's property line, and try to respond in kind, explaining what she did, but nobody cares.

I, feeling threatened by no less than two people, pull out one of my trusty pocket knives that I always carry (it's legal, and that's relevant) but have never used on another person (also very relevant). I do however, primarily carry it as a deterrent. I have used the knife on paper and boxes and tape and the occasional apple, and I take good care it, so I know that it's sharp and that it looks scary.

Eventually, I get bored, annoyed, and/or fed up with the shouted threats and the lack of headway, and just walk away.

This is all very relevant, because today, after I get home from work, the mister, who is the property owner and father to the neighbor (and also a resident of the property) is out at his car. I take my time getting out of my car because it's comfortable, and I like just sitting in my car even if I have no where to go, and because he keeps glancing at me and staring at me like he wants to start something, and I don't want to get involved in whatever he wants to start. Also to annoy him, because I don't expect him to back down, and I can sit in my car all day long (also, it being a car that's driveable, I can leave, and leave his desire for a confrontation unfulfilled).

So I gather my stuff, climb out of my car, and head towards the house.

He starts trying to get my attention. "Hey." "Hey." "Hey." Progressively louder each time. He also walks up his driveway trying to stay parallel to me, which is difficult because my residence's driveway sloped upward away from the street and his does not. Also his has a lot of vehicles on it and my residence's driveway only has the one that I just exited.

Before I make it inside, though, I get equal parts annoyed and frustrated, and glance at him.

He explodes. "Don't you ever come near my daughter again! Don't look at her, don't talk to her, don't go near her! Don't threaten my son with a knife! You're lucky I don't call the police! I won't call the police! You'll have to deal with me."

He keeps going, but I'm not listening anymore. I walk to the property line, raise my voice and attempt to defend myself, but he's not done raving. I add in "If you want to talk about this, we can talk, but you're going to have to stop talking over me and interrupting me."

He goes on about the police again, and next thing I know, my mother is standing behind me telling me to go inside.