Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I had a shitty day at work today.

In fact, I've been having a string of shitty days. I worked 50 hours last week, and I'm still 5 days behind. I'm limited in how much overtime I can work: I've got to skedaddle Monday through Wednesday for teaching, and the whole office shuts down at 5:00 sharp on Friday. We've also been told not to work more than 4 hours on Saturday.

Today the site manager fussed at our supervisor because our department is so far behind. All this while the manager's department, which is supposed to be a team with our department, spends the first hour of the day in the breakroom, and the rest of the day wandering in and out of each others' offices, talking about sports.

Top this off with being exhausted, fuzzy-headed, and having pains in my stomach for the past day and a half--probably acid from the stress of keeping up with work, work, and the holidays. All our family is out-of-town, so not only do we have to find time for presents, but we have to pack them and lug them to the post office in time to ship them out. Since Miss Chef is working 8 am to 10 pm six days a week, I guess that's gonna be on my shoulders.

And, as I finally left the office today, after dark--again--I walked into a cold rain that dripped straight down my neck. Once in my frigid car, I paused a moment. The relative silence was soothing--no phones ringing, no faxes beeping, no raucous conversations going on around me. Just the metallic patter of rain on the car roof. I briefly considered not going home, just spending the night in the parking lot listening to the rain.

Of course, I knew I had to face the rush hour drive home, in the rain and dark, only to spend another two hours trying to focus my tired, fuzzy eyes on a computer screen. But as I inched closer to the entrance to I-465, something made me stop and think, honestly, girl, aren't you feeling just a bit sorry for yourself?

Yeah, I know, I'm damn lucky to have a job at all, much less two. But even without a job, I'd still be lucky.

I don't have to spend half my day gathering wood to cook the meager portions available at a refugee camp.

I don't have to worry about being killed by a bomb at WalMart every time there's an election.

I don't have to worry about my nephews being kidnapped, tortured, and forced to fight a war before their voices change; or about my young niece ever being sold into prostitution. (Or myself, for that matter.)

I don't have to worry whether the water I'm drinking carries bacteria or parasites that will lead to an excruciating death.

I don't fear that my partner is risking her life by going to work every day.

I don't have to worry about whether I'll find a safe place to sleep tonight.

There are horrible, unthinkable things happening to human beings every minute of the day. It's impossible to hold them all in your heart, or wrap your mind around the suffering. And here I sit, in my own safe, dry and warm house, growing an ulcer because the phone wouldn't stop ringing, and somebody grumbled at my department.

I'm not gonna stop stressing all of the sudden. But maybe putting my troubles into perspective will help.


  1. Oh... I am so sorry you are stressed. It sounds like life is very overwhelming right now.

    I used to think of all the things that could make my life worse... or that make my life so much better... but it just depressed me.

    So I do what I can... to help others in worse situations than my own... and I try to focus on my moment, my now to get me through the overwhelming times. My life is mine to own. Yours is yours to own- no matter the circumstances.

  2. You know, it's OK to feel stressed and grumble about it. It helps deal with it really. And you TOTALLY have your head screwed on all right so you'll always be able to balance things up. Don't worry about feeling too bad all the time about the world's problems. take some time for you. You're allowed to feel sorry for yourself sometimes!!

  3. No, we didn't get any snow, just cold rain.

    I know you do what you have to do but y'all sure are working looooong, stressful hours. Miss Chef works 8AM-10PM 6 days a week? you're working OT at the main job and got a PT job? my gosh. I used to be a workaholic but those days are long over, I just gave out, still work at the same place but I'm not the sterling employee I once was, now boss man just has to take what he gets. :-)

  4. Those kind of long hours would make anyone feel stressed. Don't be so hard on yourself. I do that too, I start to think about everything that is wrong with my life and then I remember all the people in this world so much worse off than I am and I feel guilty but it does help put things in perspective sometimes.

  5. Very poignant thoughts, Flar. And that's why I love coming to Flartopia. You remind us of things that really matter and you're not afraid to say you get snared in the self-pity once in awhile. Girl, trust me, you have plenty of reason to feel exhausted and frustrated. Two jobs and an the enormous pressure to meet deadlines - PLUS - Christmas and all that entails... well, you have my permission to have a glass or two of champagne. Casa Hice is serving if you can squeeze us into your schedule.

    But seriously, thank you for enumerating all the things we have to be so grateful for in our lives - not only daily, but hourly. Putting into perspective that way is quite sobering indeed.

  6. I'm sorry you've had to deal with some crappy days, but I admire your ability to put it all into perspective and be grateful for all the good things. There is surely more good than bad anyway.

    (((HUGS))) for you,


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