Monday, December 27, 2010

Ruby Slippers

If you look very closely, you'll see a doggie in that window. Don't ask how much that doggie is...she's priceless! That's my Daisy, who was watching from the cozy bedroom as I tromped around taking pictures in the snow.

I haven't posted much lately because I've been generally miserable. It's not the holidays - I really had a nice Christmas, without too much stress leading up to it. I don't know whether it's hormones, (what with the pituitary thing and my age), or if it's work, or if it's just all of the sudden changes of the last few months (getting married, husband retiring). I guess it's some combination of all of the above.

Work has recently gone from being a place that I didn't mind, that I even liked most of the time, to being a land of the unknown. I'm like Dorothy in Oz, but without the promise of the Wizard to cling to. I really don't have much hope that things will get better anytime soon.

I'm one of the odd men out when it comes to office relationships since I don't have a lot of close friendships within the office group, and I don't text and email my coworkers throughout the day. But then, I never passed notes in high school, either. Being surrounded by networks of people who DO socialize with each other at work this way is...strange. And the atmosphere gets really toxic sometimes. I've taken the brunt of it, and I've seen it affect other people, too.

I'd say that it's a generational problem, but there are plenty of people my age participating in the silent babel. Funny how social networking is turning adults back into teens. It's just odd that it has taken on such an important role in the workplace. Maybe we never really grow up, we just don't have teachers anymore to tell us to stop, so we think it's OK.

Anyway, I've seen how ugly the whole gossip thing has become, at work and in the world at large, and I'm opting out. I know I'll stumble, but I plan to work on it. Even the craziest, most difficult person you know deserves respect.

I've been thinking more and more about pacifism. I have known some fairly committed pacifists in the past, and I have a lot to learn from them. It is not necessary to right every wrong or rail at every perceived evil. And it is distinctly wrong to try to get points for witty comments at someone else's expense. Serenity and peace are undervalued today. I think I will be more serene and peaceful if I cultivate respect and compassion for other people. Meditation might help, as well.

There have been other changes at work, with retirements and hiring and the like. Government agencies are pretty haphazard in the way they handle both of those things, and it's got me tired and confused. I used to know how to do my job, or at least I thought I did, but not anymore. I'm getting absurdly mixed signals about what's wanted and what's expected.

OK, so it looks like work is the source of most of my misery right now. At least that much is clear. I guess finding the Wizard of Oz was only a false hope for Dorothy, since he didn't do her much good in the end. Turns out, she always had the power to change her own situation. I guess I'm just at sixes and sevens when it comes to figuring out how to apply that to my own life. The pacifism/meditation route is the only step I can see right now. Where DID I put those ruby slippers?