Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Woe (was) me

This is a post about shout-outs, about resonance, about the present day in my own life,
the joys and sorrows, the ups and downs. The title merely refers to how one gets around those tough times, and I think these blog posts really showcase that.

A discussion with my friend L. on Friday night had us agreeing up an already-foregone conclusion about life:
you can never have it all, at one time, going along swimmingly at once.
For example, for her and I at this time, both of our angst relates to work, to being top-notch employees who are consistently punished for good performance. (Little did I know years ago how reading an article about this would turn out to be a handbook to my career. About how good workers end up 'punished' for turning somersaults to get things done. How the bad workers avoid the expectations of accuracy, speed, customer service. How fucking unfair it all is).  My dad, a corporate recruiter in his day, described this as being "under-employed". I think I've got that right.
Everything else in our lives is enviable. Truly.
With the exception, for me, of having a long-distance marriage, and when I have those tough work days, the ones that make me want to say, here, take this job and .........., well, it's hard to arrive home to my empty condo and find the place inside myself to make me feel better.

This blog post hit me hard, by my dear, rare friend L. Especially these lines, which I felt had been written just for me:

The problem is this: when you are belittled on a regular basis, whether it be in the form of under payment, indifference, or emotional abuse - it becomes far too easy to confuse their lies with your truth. Very often it takes a reality check, a sign (or gift!) from God to remind yourself of who you are.

I couldn't agree more. And when that belittling and indifference comes from subordinates, it's almost harder to bear. I've detailed this to my friend A.; I've realized, I'm a worker bee, management does not come easily to me, I don't wear a mantle of authority well. I think it's because I solve problems, I do things, and the two don't mesh with delegation and regulation for me. I do things for the sake of getting them done, not for any recognition or applause. I'm not needy. Conversely, I also don't avoid doing things and then playing the blame-game and manipulating things to obscure a hidden agenda.
So when I'm confronted with a situation like this, I'm dumbfounded.
But all this seriousness about work seems misplaced. After all, I look at last year and how little space work took up in my head--I had bigger fish to fry. I remind myself of this when Mike and I have discussions over the phone about work (he is preparing for his restaurant re-opening next week. His place is seasonal, dependant on the Maine tourism from April to October). He described what one of his employees said to him one night about finishing up: "I've hit a wall, I've got to cruise".  He couldn't relate the story without laughing himself, and I laughed too. I could so picture it. My own staff do the office equivalent of this ALL THE TIME. I liken it to a game of tennis (yes, another sports' analogy). I give them something to do (serve the ball) they lob it back over the net to me (return). I stare at the ball and go: Umm WHAT THE FUCK? (all in my  head. all in my head).
Oh my God. I have to STOP about work.

From head to heart.
As in: a broken one for this poor blogger-ess.

When I read this latest entry in Reagan's Blob, a fave blog of mine as probably anyone who has
ever read my blog knows, this pierced me. We've all done them. I know I have.
The playlist is short'n'sweet, but despite different circumstances, different ages, and different situations and locations, the music resonates to me. And by resonate I mean, breaks my heart.
My two-years-ago now bad break-up (I can't believe it's two-odd years ago. I mean, I know it is, but it simultaneously feels like it was ten years ago but also just yesterday), and the fact that I'm now married to someone else, someone who makes my bad break-up feel like it happened a thousand years ago, helps alot, believe me.
My playlist is entitled "Sunday" so I can re-tool it whenever I want, but I still remember the songs that headlined that painful time, that were on 'repeat' on my ipod for hours, days, weeks on end.
They each have their own story. And, for sheer pride in myself--I 'took back' every single song on that playlist as one that came from heartbreak but translated into steely determination.
Take a look:

Soul Meet Body--Death Cab for Cutie. This was playing in Pravda Vodka Bar on the Monday my mean ex moved out of my condo. My sister dragged me there. I would have stayed in, balancing my laptop on a cardboard box where his desk used to be. My sister wouldn't let me. I heard this song playing in the bar and instantly fell in love with it. I still love it. To date, it remains on my top 25 most-played.

Cry--Rhianna. What I swore I would never let anyone see me do. And I didn't.

Impossible--Shontelle. Guilty pleasure, yes. But my favourite line was this: And now, all is done there is nothing to say, and if you're done with embarassing me.... Oh yes. I filled in the blanks: "and yourself".

High Road--Broken Bells. A reminder for me to not do anything that would result in even the slightest chip in dignity. I listened to it over and over again.

Soldier of Love--Sade. My sister's wedding song was a Sade song. This one was more of a 'march on out of his life' type of battle-hymn. I treated it as such.

Trouble is a Friend--Lenka.  My friend K. introduced me to this song, and I listened to it over and over prior to what was going to be one of my last shifts at the restaurant where I worked at the time. Where my ex and his lollipop worked. I called her lollipop because she was a sucker.

Caroline--Concrete Blonde. Mike sang this to me during a phone conversation, not long after we started 'phone-dating' because really, the summer of 2010, that's what we were doing. It was out of tune but hilarious. I downloaded  it onto my ipod immediately after. A kind of anthem to myself.  "There's a dream I have where I sail away, looking back I wave at you, and I wave good-byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye.........Oh Caroline"... I waved bye to that lost girl on the shore. Swam out past the sharks.

Miles Away--Madonnaa. On all my playlists.

So Happy I Could Die--Lady Gaga. After a trip I took with my sister and the kids to Wasaga Beach. We listened to this in the car and the one lyric kept repeating to me: "Just know when...that glass is empty that the world is gonna bend...."
Speechless--Lady Gaga. Same trip. Sounded, as my sister described it, "Beatle-esque". I agree. I liked the premise; "and I'll never love again, I'll never talk again..."  In song as in life, never say never.

House of Cards--Radiohead. I don't even have to justify this one.

Across the Universe--Rufus Wainwright. Heard of this cover from the mamapundit blog. Loved it.

Maxie Priest--Wild World (Cat Stevens' cover). A good reminder about 'taking care out there'.

The Boys of Summer--Don Henley.  Another summer, another opportunity for renewal. Another chance.

Devil Wouldn't Recognize You (I do)--Madonna. This and "Used to be my Playground".  All slow, sad laments.

So...that was my go-to list in a nutshell.
Don't underestimate the power of a song, of a blog entry, of a new thought to turn things around.

Good night.....

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