18 June 2016

Focus on the Beauty

A teenaged friend put out a query on the Facebook today: "Drop the names of your favorite poems."

I immediately thought of The Day is Done by Longfellow. I first read it in high school and loved it. I am the type of nerd who wishes I still had that high school English teacher textbook.

Then I remembered Desiderata. I had a plaque with this poem in two of my offices and I think I need to find it again.

After an ugly, emotional week we have all had, here is a little peace and beauty.

The Day is Done - Longfellow

The day is done, and the darkness 
      Falls from the wings of Night, 
As a feather is wafted downward 
      From an eagle in his flight. 

I see the lights of the village 
      Gleam through the rain and the mist, 
And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me 
      That my soul cannot resist: 

A feeling of sadness and longing, 
      That is not akin to pain, 
And resembles sorrow only 
      As the mist resembles the rain. 

Come, read to me some poem, 
      Some simple and heartfelt lay, 
That shall soothe this restless feeling, 
      And banish the thoughts of day. 

Not from the grand old masters, 
      Not from the bards sublime, 
Whose distant footsteps echo 
      Through the corridors of Time. 

For, like strains of martial music, 
      Their mighty thoughts suggest 
Life's endless toil and endeavor; 
      And to-night I long for rest. 

Read from some humbler poet, 
      Whose songs gushed from his heart, 
As showers from the clouds of summer, 
      Or tears from the eyelids start; 

Who, through long days of labor, 
      And nights devoid of ease, 
Still heard in his soul the music 
      Of wonderful melodies. 

Such songs have power to quiet 
      The restless pulse of care, 
And come like the benediction 
      That follows after prayer. 

Then read from the treasured volume 
      The poem of thy choice, 
And lend to the rhyme of the poet 
      The beauty of thy voice. 

And the night shall be filled with music, 
      And the cares, that infest the day, 
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs, 
      And as silently steal away. 

15 June 2016

A Glimpse of Silver

I have been blonde a large portion of my life.  I am also the only blonde in my family; everyone else has dark brown/nearly black hair.  When I was in my thirties, my hair started to turn brown. I did not accept this gracefully.

I am not a vain person but I just couldn't bear having brown hair.  It just felt foreign and weird. It didn't feel like me and my skin coloring wouldn't support it.  I just looked wan and tired. So I began coloring my hair in varying shades of blonde.  Right now, it is dishwater blonde but it's been as light as what I call "stripper blonde" and even tried a reddish blonde.

In the past ten-ish years, I've said that I'd rather my hair just turn straight to white.  It doesn't feel like that big of a request from my DNA but apparently it is.  When I was really young, there was a woman in the grocery store whom we frequently saw.  She had long, to her waist, white hair and I loved it.  I distinctly remember my mom Not liking it and I didn't understand why.  Still don't, actually.

So, to my delight, I noticed the other day a few strands of white hair in my bangs. Not gray, but white! The pretty kind!  Hooray!

Wait, what?  "Hooray"? you ask.  I acknowledge that it is strange.  I'm rarely categorized as normal.

I will be fifty in three years, so it's not like this is happening early in life.  Kevin was going grey in his twenties and it's always suited him.  So I have nothing but positive vibes when it comes to grey hair.

Kind of like wrinkles, I see them as a sign of accomplishment.  Yea, You!  You've made it long enough to have wrinkles and grey hair!  Go, you!

On television now, it is not uncommon for women to be shown with snowy white hair.  I'm always wistfully jealous when I see them.  And now the youngin's are dyeing their hair silver and purple, completely erasing any generational coloring.

It's a strange accomplishment but I'm pleased.  And weird, I totally accept that.

13 June 2016

Yet Here I Am

Filed in the "Be Careful What You Wish For" file is my job.

This time last year, I was hired for what I thought was my dream job.  It was part-time, it was easy, and most importantly, it was an organization that I had wanted to work for forever.

For awhile, it continued to be my dream job. Then there was a major change, I took on more hours and many more responsibilities.  The work was beyond my skill-set and the learning curve was more of a hill. I persevered though.

I mean, really, there isn't such thing as the perfect job.  There are always going to be personality conflicts, tasks that you don't enjoy, or just the fact that working is rarely high on anyone's list of A Few of My Favorite Things.

Actually, let's pause a second.  I have to say that I adore my coworkers.  ADORE.  They are a great group and I feel lucky and blessed every single day.  Of course, it's not all perfection because: humans.  But as a group, I couldn't ask for anything more.

So, Surely, what is your problem? you ask.

I work for someone who clearly is in the early stages of dementia.  Whatever the cause or level, she is unable to sustain a thought for longer than a few hours.  Items are constantly lost, appointments forgotten, and just general befuddledness is the soup of the day.

Now, if you've been a dear reader for very long, you're aware that I'm painfully aware of dementia.  Kevin's mom has had it for a few years.  I think that's why I incorrectly and perhaps arrogantly thought that this would resolve itself eventually.

But here's the fun thing about dementia.  They don't know they have it and they will argue to the death about it.  On the same level, they DO know something is wrong but they can't pinpoint what exactly it might be.  But as much as you know you're eyes are blue, they deny that they are failing and believe that just as strongly that they're fine as you do about your eye color.

Now, a person might be thinking "Well, just go to work, do your job, and get out because there are so many other positive factors."  Until I tell you that we, unfortunately, share an office.  There is no head down, do your job, and get out option on this menu.  And, working with someone who is forgetful is a specific kind of crazy-making. A person begins to doubt themselves; as in second-guessing.  "I sent that right?"  "I said that, right?"  "I did that, right?  Twice, even."

I have managed a few work-arounds.  I start earlier, which I don't hate but it's not my favorite.  I wear headphones but that isn't always a reasonable solution.  I share frustrations with a coworker so they don't escalate into something worse. I try to have important conversations with another person involved in addition to Suzy Forgetful.  I email everything that I possibly can.

But the days are still challenging.

I subscribe to the belief that everyone has a boss.  Everyone. It's usually my go-to card when I bump into issues with things like poor customer service.  In this case, there is a board and I have spoken to the board.  They promise they are working on it and a change is to come.  But, it is progressing so slowly that I am losing faith.  How long does one wait for something like this to resolve? I told myself that I wouldn't do this again, yet here I am.

Another big piece of the puzzle is this:  I just left a job two years ago because someone had gone crazy pants.  Telling a donor she might have cancer from pretend mold in her office, running the organization into financial ruin while ordering room service, pretending to not know how to celebrate holidays, crazy pants.

I'm feeling culpable at this point. Is it me?  Do I take jobs where only people with issues work?  Do I create these issues?  Is it my job in life to fix these kinds of situations?  I would like to politely and emphatically decline all of these options.

There really isn't a point to this post.  I'm not unlike every other working person in the world, I'm not special.  But I am frustrated, and disappointed, and really trying to get creative in my coping skills. And once again being reminded that there is no such thing as a perfect anything.  Especially and specifically a job.

01 June 2016

Three Swears

Hello Poppets!  I will discuss the absence in a later post, no worries.  All is well, just a lot of stuff in the way of sitting down to write.

So, the Little's birthday was this weekend.  As every year, we got together to throw a party in their honor.  Every year I just love them so much more.  They are TEN now and we are starting to see glimpses of who they are to become.  One is going to be an engineer, one can't decide, and one says she thinks maybe she wants to do a million things and doesn't understand why she has to choose just one. Which, upon further thought, she's right.  Why do we have to be just one thing?

But back up a tiny bit, on the morning of the party I woke up from a dream that is still making me laugh.

The dream wasn't about the Littles, it was about their older brother.  He is going to be our lawyer in the family.  He is never wrong, he is Mr. Last Word, he is really clever.

In the dream, we were having a family dinner, like we do, and Eric (not his real name) sat down at the dinner table and dropped the Eff Bomb in frustration.  The family was all "Oh, hey, wait, what?!?"  Eric said "No, it's okay that I said that." (which is SO in the realm of possibilities in real life)

His mom came over and asked him "Eric, did you say three swears before you said Eff?"

Eric then explains that he did, with animated hand gestures and complaints about his many siblings who were making him frustrated.  "I said three swears and then I said that.  It's the rule!!"

His mom then wisely nods and tells the adults "No, it's cool.  That's the rule, he gets three swears and then the Eff Bomb is okay."

Then I woke up, laughing.  Because it's totally viable for this particular child to have that rule and to follow it appropriately.  His mom isn't quite that chill but it's also not completely out of the realm of possibility.

Of course, I shared the dream with the family members at the party.  I suspect that it is going to become a running joke any time someone curses.  In this family, we are going to need a tally system of some sort.

And really, it's not a bad policy.