Sunday, August 31, 2008
Which Way Do I Go? Which Way Do I Go?
Things have been crazy lately! I am feeling like there is not enough time to get everything done for everyone I am accountable to. Then there are the "few" things I put on my own plate. YIKES!
This was another bad week sprinkled with a little goodness. I much prefer a good week sprinkled with a little badness.
There were two more deaths in the neighborhood. I cannot tell you how many times lately that I have said or spoken the words, "Don't drink the water on that street!" First, there was the untimely death of a neighbor who had a brain aneurysm. He was on the road when it happened, so you know the scene and what followed was nothing short of horrific for the family to get through. So the wake and funeral was Thursday/Friday.
We then got word that our other neighbor passed away. It did not seem right. His wife just passed away a few weeks ago. But that family is now dealing with losing both their parents within 30 days. How sad. This wake and funeral was Friday/Saturday.
When I went into work on Thursday, I was a bit tired from all the emotion and thoughts these deaths evoke in me. It makes me relive things I have been through, it makes me think that when Johnny died, that could have been my brother, who is the same age as he. etc. You know how this goes. Anyway, my co-worker commented on how quiet I was. I told her that I was simply reflecting on things and that it has been a long few weeks for me. I quickly told her what occurred on the street. She didn't know what to say as she has been going through her own ordeal with her family of recent. It was a quiet day.
On Friday, I was the only one available to go to a City meeting for a grant award. I had to miss the funeral. Sadly, I had missed his wife's funeral due to work as well. Uggh! But, I have to keep things going, and I did try to get my co-worker to go, but she had a day off scheduled. So, I do my duty and go with all the brilliance I can muster. The meeting was not what it was supposed to be, and soon, everyone in the room knew it. It was kinda comical. But not as comical as what happened to me.
During the middle of the conference call, I had to go to the bathroom. Not just a slight urge, but the "Oh My God, I have urine building behind my eyeballs" feeling. I eyed a bathroom not far from where I was sitting. I kept spying it, I was moving in my seat, and of course I did not sit in the back of the room, I sat in the front, next to the grant writer, the superintendent, etc. Uggh! So I realize that I have to get up and go over to the bathroom. Now the room is extremely silent. As I open the door, the knob makes a cricketty noise. Then I open the bathroom stall door, and it creaked so loudly, I was embarrassed. Damn old buildings..doesn't anyone know of WD-40 anymore? Uggh! It was funny, and I was soooo relieved. LOL!
So as there is so much to do lately, and most of it not of the positive kind, how do I keep my head from splitting in two? It is not easy, but here are my remedies:
1. Be Honest. Know your comfort zone.
Have faith in people that when you are feeling badly, they will understand. You do not have to get into the depth of your feelings or emotion, but you can express your feelings so the point gets across so that it can be discussed. No one wants you to be unhappy, and if they cannot take your view into consideration, or there is a lack of respect, then you have to rethink if you are in the right place with the right people. And sometimes, the people you are being honest with can assist you, give you a new thought process, or even share their own experience. And it can really help support your goals...and theirs. Create a "win/win" situation if you can.
2. Find the humor.
The bathroom experience was unfortunate, but funny nonetheless. When Mother Nature calls...! I also surrounded myself with people who are fun. This is sometimes hard to come by in my world, but I have a few people that I can be "me" around, without judgement, so I called upon those people.
3. Make the Difference.
I did go to the wakes, and within those walls, found my way to make a difference by use of my words. One of the things I said to one of the brothers was repeated to me by my own mother when she was recapping to me how the funeral went. Your words do matter; and what you say and how you say it matters. People in mourning may actually repeat them, so if you have something to offer, make sure it Makes the Difference.
4. Keep Moving.
I was not happy that I could not be at the funerals, but I also have a job to do. While the City meeting was not of substance, someone from my agency needed to be there. I was in a great seating position, and even got a comment from a City person at the end stating that she would try and help me with my initiative in October, and she did not see a problem with it at that point. So, Yippee for keeping moving!
5. Take Lunch.
Sometimes I work through lunch, or eat while working, or stay late. On these days, despite the overwhelming feeling, take lunch. And take someone who is positive, or in the same circumstance. Talk about it. Seek remedies for each other, give perspective, or just laugh. On this day, I took my friend and we laughed a lot. We both needed it, and when I went back to work, I was much more focused and ready to handle things.
6. Make a List.
as I get older, a list is becoming more important. Take it as you can. When i know how much time I have, IO can review the list and do several small things. Doing the small things first always seems to help me feel like I have accomplished something, which gives me better drive for the other projects on the list. Try it, it is amazing. Use a pad of paper or use your e-mail programs "To Do" List feature.
7. Compliment Someone.
Nothing makes you feel better than complimenting people. If you see someone having a bad day, compliment them. It interrupts their stride of negativity and infuses a bit of optimism. So when I see someone struggling, which is not hard to see these days, take the quick moment to help, or to add something positive to their day. It is not hard to say something positive to someone you work with each day.
So go forth and be positive and make the difference to keep the split personality at bay. Better days are coming. That is my story and I am sticking to it.