Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Dozen

The Chinese calendar divides their version of the zodiac by year, rather than by the dates in a year, as the traditional zodiac calendar does.

There are still twelve signs, but they are one per year, not twelve in one year.

I'm feeling, right now, like I'm reaching the end of a twelve-year cycle in my adult life. It seems somehow impossible that I have even been an adult, a fully-functional, self-sufficient adult, for slightly more than that time. But maybe, I became an adult twelve years ago, and have been a participant in this journey of my zodiac 'year' sign for all this time.

I'm an Ox according to the Chinese calendar. And in the traditional zodiac, I'm a Virgo, an August Virgo, missing fiery Leo by one day. I guess I am a fiery Virgo. Passionate, if you will. Committed. (commitable?) Stable. Fearful of change, of feeling out-of-balance, of feeling out-of-control. This is combined with the recent, developing knowledge that I've gleaned--really, we can't fear being out-of-control. Because we control nothing, really, in this life. We don't control fate coming our way, we don't control when or how death will visit us in this life, in its' various disguises, it's surprising way of simply arriving and blanketing everything we touch with a feeling of unreality. We don't really control our day-to-day life, the small things in it. Car accidents happen, bus drivers are rude and impatient, and you might trip and fall in the street, in front of people, picking yourself up, painfully embarassed, but still just a human being, a human doing--doing the best she can.

The twelve-year summation also relates to work. I've been at the same (quite stressful) job for twelve years. It's a roller-coaster ride, just like life, of some triumphs, some failures (blown up in my mind to far more drama than they really encapsulate), and most of all, as with many jobs, some people who make it all worthwhile, and others who make the journey as torturous and painful as possible. I have coworkers who, over the last few weeks, knowing how stressed everyone is, and how busy we all are, have really pulled together and tried to help, and for that I feel blessed at their dedication, and I feel my own dedication to be more valuable as I witness their struggles, too, dealing with the day to day work we all have to get done, most often under unbearable deadlines. I have clients who are human, whose opinions I value, and who I even consider friends.
And on the sad flip-side of this, I also have clients who make me want to free-fall off a bridge and land in a world where people like them do not exist.
My friend L. says it best--you never know WHAT battles people are fighting when they show you that side of themselves that is better left unseen. And I run this phrase through my head on the difficult days, and there have been ALOT of them lately. Far too many than I care for.

Which is why, here on sacred Sunday morning, I'm pouring these feelings out about work, about career, about stress, about an industry that doesn't allow the achievement of far-off objectives. It's about the here, the now, the opening day, the perfect house, the perfect condominium, the perfect IT. And life's not perfect, and neither are people. It's alot to take, and it's taking up alot right now.
What to do? I guess mining my creative talents to solve problems is one thing. Pre-emptive measures are another.
Coming back to my Virgo-Ox original train of thought, both my signs point to a long life of work-based, work-driven, life satisfaction. It's not really a choice--it's known throughout both zodiacs tht the traits of the Ox (solid, predictable, strong, pulling their weight) and the Virgo (perfectionist, driven, competitive, advisory, intuitive) marry up to form one hell of a work ethic.

I would just like a little break, a short pause of the ever-turning carousel, and seeing the same scenery going by me, round and round, dizzying in its repetition, yet uncontrollable in its sameness.

Today I want to stop the ride and get off.

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