Hair Aflame, Face on Fire

Today I unleashed the devil inside. Our vendor did something totally stupid and irresponsible and I had to call him on it. It was the final straw in a long string of screw-ups. I wrote a professional nasty-gram and then met with him to express my disappointment. It was definitely not the highlight of my career. I have avoided accepting management positions simply because I do not want to have to deal with the crap that goes along with managing individuals. I just don’t think I am cut out to chastise and crack a mean whip to get people in line. I am not saying that you have to do this, I use to teach 12-14 year-olds, I know this is not an amenable way to get people motivated, but I also recognize it is an evil necessity at times. And in all honesty I am not comfortable with that aspect of my personality and I don’t want to be. Getting comfortable with being mean or yelling is not where I want to go.

Did I do it? Yes. Is he aware that he pissed me off? Totally. He definitely got the message, based on my tone and demeanor. He was uncomfortable for sure and quickly acquiesced and apologized.

The person I become scares me…I get butterflies in my stomach and I am not sure I will say the right thing or that my anger will just take over, preventing effective communication of the problem. This is because in reality I am not an arguer…I have learned how to argue from being married but outside of that I don’t engage in those scenarios.

And now this episode has circulated around the office…I was king for a day someone said. Gosh, I wonder if this has given me my first black mark, set the wheels in motion for a reputation? The bad kind. Although, I want to be seen as someone people can work with, perhaps it isn’t so bad that they also know I won’t take any shit. I just don’t know. This job is tearing me apart. I am being pulled in so many directions and I am changing daily. Frankly, I am not sure I like the changes.

How do you handle conflict at work? What tactics work for you? Are you as worried about tact and professionalism, finding a confident balance?

All I know for sure is that I am not ready to part with the person I am for the person I feel I am becoming. I feel a transition coming, not just in the way of job but also IN me…and I am afraid. I want to stop the train and get off…but it is going too fast…

Wanted: A Best Friend

It seems that for the last few years I have spent the odd moment contemplating my lack thereof a “best friend.” Let me start by saying, I have a best friend in my partner. I could not be more blessed by his trueness, understanding and support, and ever-lasting love. I know I am a better person because of him. We are normal though…we have our ups and downs. We argue and disagree, pout and shout but nothing so damaging or detrimental as to damage the core of our relationship. Most of the time is small pettiness that ruins the moment and I do mean moment. I rarely can stay mad for longer than 30 minutes. My heart is just never in it. I am big on talking out a problem…communicating to a better end. I will talk you to death, even in an argument.

So, why do I feel like I don’t have a best friend? Well I feel I am missing something more. A girlfriend I can hang out with, who knows me in and out, and has a grasp of what’s going on in my life. I want someone who can provide that female camaraderie that BozoBoy can’t, who knows me in a way most people don’t, who sees me on my good and bad days.

We have been married nearly 9 years, lived on both coasts and had a brief layover in the middle of the country. I have LOTS of friends. Friends I e-mail, irregularly (bad me). I would say I have friends who have at one time or another been a very close friend. Most of my friends I met at work, which has included both men and women. I get on well with both sexes.

My mother use to call me the little charmer, I was always myself in social circumstances but I guess being an extrovert but not overly so (and faking confidence I didn’t really have at the time) I put myself out to make friends. I am very good at making friends, across racial boundaries, gender, nationalities… And I would say keeping them…but I don’t put in the full effort I know I should to maintain the same level with the friends but I have dropped very few friends.

I wish I could keep up with all my friends…and I use to but now I am just so busy, and tired and there are just so many. Hey…I fall down on my wifely responsibilities more than I should and I see the man everyday. You see where I am going with this.

But I haven’t had a best friend since college. I had a best friend, in fact 2 in elementary school (who I still am in contact with – a few times a year), 2 in high school neither of whom I still have ties to), and I would say I had 1 best friend in college, although I made some last friendships…(and I keep up with them, though I had a falling out with the best friend a few years ago). But since then the well has dried up!

And dammit, I am mad and hurt. I want a girlfriend I can tell my secrets (see previous post) too. I don’t even have any secrets, but I can make some up if she comes. I need my very own buddy who offers me their opinion, is nonjudgmental but tells me the truth even when it isn’t what I want to hear. I miss this companionship, before my life and those of my friends got more complicated making it harder to have that deep meaningful relationship.

I have some wonderful friends at work and a very small circle outside locally. But socially, I have done next to nothing with friends outside of work. Shortly, after we moved in we held an open house/30th b-day party. I invited a great number of people and I think about 50-60 turned up. Since, not a single person has been over to the house…that has been nearly a year and a half. Boy, that is kinda depressing.

I bet you are tired of hearing me whine, well I have plan. Sort of, I at least know my objective:

1. To start developing lasting relationships, but more than that…I have several great friends in different states, I would consider very close, even best friends…but I am not part of their daily lives, nor are they part of mine. I want that daily friend interaction but to transcend the boundaries of work and the shifts in our lives.

2. To try to reconnect with the friends I have. Make a bigger effort to stay in their lives. I plan to divvy up the months and start with some of the friends I already keep up with throughout the year and try to e-mail them more often.

3. To consider my daily friends as potential best friends…invite them out or over or whatever…this is harder because I only have 1 close girlfriend at work. She could so be my best friend…but her life is very full right now and she has several best friends. I am sure her heart is gracious enough to engulf me too, but I just feel her life is just so rich now…I am more than happy to be her close friend. I heard somewhere it takes an average of 3 years to form a “true” friendship. I am not sure I believe this. Maybe they mean a lasting relationship. We are reaching our 3-year mark, so perhaps she and I are on the right path.

But I am getting impatient, (I’ve been thinking about this on and off for the last 5 years). We all hear how friends are critical participants in our emotional health. I am at a point in my life where I feel like I am making big decisions, redefining who I am and I want a witness, if you will. I want to form rewarding and enduring connections. To find a friendship that can grow with me as I embark on what I hope will be a rewarding time that includes children. So, I have drafted the following ad…please feel free to apply.

WANTED: A Best Friend (Not Romantic…got that covered.)
Per Merriam-Websters: “one attached to another by affection or esteem.” To go even further I am looking for someone, to chat with about nothing or everything. To shop or drive in circles or whatever moves your spirit. To support and listen and talk and talk and talk…empathize, cry and have fun. To steal quiet “girl” moments and share intimate details (e.g., talk about how panties ride up with certain tights…nothing that said spouse would be too embarrassed about me knowing).

I am prepared to reciprocate all that I have asked for and in return, I will be committed and dependable, I will care and love, give advice you solicit and even some you don’t…I will share details I shouldn’t (see previous post) but keep YOUR secrets and tell you the truth and you can call me anytime just because. I may meet you by chance or have you in my life already…I will share in your joy and pain, and distance shall be no boundary for us, and even if we argue I won’t divorce you because I will know the honeymoon is over but the best is yet to come.

Secret Keeper, I’m Not

I am not a very good secret keeper. I mean…I can lie very well but keeping secrets is very hard. So, why is this even an issue?

A very close friend at work is pregnant. She isn’t ready for anyone else to know and I suspect the only reason I know is because I am managing a project she is working on. She is still very early (10 weeks) and had been trying for a while (IUI). She had a miscarriage 2 years ago at 24 weeks, losing her twins…so this is VERY big news.

It’s not that I want to be the one to tell her news but I am not quite sure I can keep it to myself. I know deep down that I am not going to tell anyone, else…told BozoBoy of course!

So, this is a true test for me. I am a terrible liar really…I am accomplished at withholding information. Although, I still can recall my mom saying “keep your business to yourself, you shouldn’t go around tell all your business.” I’ve gotten better over the years. I am better at holding most personal things in. I haven’t told anyone that I am in debt or other more embarrassing personal things. And yet, I still disclose more than I should at times.

So instead I am telling you, my internet audience…because no one at work knows about my site…and boy I plan to keep that secret.

Granny’s Day

It was my mother’s birthday today and what a nice, happy day it turned out to be. We went to see a terrible movie and had a great meal. We ate at Red Rock Canyon, which turned out to be a nice meal. We saw Doom, which was a really bad, awful in fact. Just wasn’t made well and I didn’t care for it. I don’t get to the movies all that often, so it was a real waste of money but it was a nice time out. Grandma was very well behaved and we actually had a nice time. It has been a while since we have had a nice time out. When she was just normal for a change, no insulting or undercutting, no wild opinions or wacky comments, just normal.

It was quite a nice afternoon.

Internal Dialogue

Lately, I have been wondering about my innate desire to seek happiness and overcome my obstacles. I am generally an optimistic person who looks on the bright side of every situation. Although, I rarely get depressed I do tend to be deeply affected by work. I am prone to getting physically ill from stressful situations at work. I accept the bad things that come into my life not always graciously but I find a way to deal. This led me to start thinking about all these bad feelings I have been having. Being so busy all the time, unhappy, working a lot at home after hours, getting lazy about cooking healthy and so on…I even would attribute my back problems to this negativity.

So, I thought that I would list the things I find most dissatisfying about my life and see if by doing this I can divest myself of whatever angst or unhappiness I am carrying.

1. I am unhappy at work. I love the people in my immediate group and the perks and benefits. But I am so, very unhappy. I don’t like the person I am becoming or the people I am working with outside of my circle of friends and colleagues. I wish I was being adequately compensated for what I am doing. I want more emotional fulfillment. I want to go to work happy, excited. I want what I do to mean something and to matter. I miss working in academia. I miss seeing the fruits of my work, helping others.

2. I wish I wasn’t constantly obsessed with the debt we have amassed (low double-digits). It seems that all my motivation focuses on this. Paying it off, not spending on X because I could pay down our debt instead. This weighs heavily on my mind. I just want it to be gone already. But I wonder if it is gone, won’t I find something else to fret about, to replace that debt either literally or metaphorically? I have been fantasizing, hoping that we can take a nice 6-8 week trip traveling for our 10th anniversary. Of course, I find no true enjoyment in these thoughts because of our debt, and the fact that this would add too it. To add more insult to my already raw feelings, I know that we have thought about starting a family after this trip.

3. Having a family scares me for a number of reasons. The obvious, whether I will be a good parent, having a healthy baby, how will our marriage change, will we be happier…but I am terrified that we will continue our check to check behavior we currently exhibit. To be honest I am embarrassed about the amount we make and still seem to be struggling, guilty about spending money on shoes we need or so forth. We have made some big decisions to try to combat our financial woes, deciding not to buy another car and carpooling but I can’t shake my childhood feelings. I still think back to the images of my mom struggling to provide me with things, school opportunities and so on…these thoughts linger in my mind. Will we ever catch up? Make enough money to raise a child and still manage to enjoy ourselves without the stress? We have talked about BozoBoy becoming a stay-at-home dad. Of course, this is a factor when trying to improve our financial situation.

What I have realized is that I am far too obsessed about money, making more, paying off what I have spent, and thinking about what I don’t have. I am just so tired of these thoughts. I need to let go. I meant will I really have a life where I won’t have some debt? I doubt it somehow…even if it is minimal. Do I want/need help in working these problems out? Absolutely! Do I know where to look? Not exactly, but I am trying. I am trying to let go of certain ideals and desires that may in fact be causing me pain. I want to end what I feel is contributing to my own suffering. More importantly, I am on a mission to find the roots of my own happiness and focus on those. I believe this could have a significant change on my attitude and hopefully on my outlook of the future.

Good News for Grandma

Well I am happy to report that Grandma starts her orientation and training with Target this week. We are feeling the stress start to leave us and most importantly we are just happy she has found something, even if it temporary and it isn’t quite what she was expected.