Just a quick update: my period came yesterday so I’m on to another cycle.
At first I was just relieved to not be confused anymore, but today I am a but bummed. I am watching Netflix with husband now but will write more about this soon.
My avg. daily fitbit #fitstats for last week: 7,849 steps and 3.4 miles traveled. http://www.fitbit.com/user/22LD52
My avg. daily fitbit #fitstats for last week: 8,793 steps and 3.8 miles traveled. http://www.fitbit.com/user/22LD52
To next Tuesday, which gave us almost an extra week. If only Husband’s damn check would come in the mail!
It has not been an easy month, but I am doing better. Finally. I still don’t want to be at work, I still can’t stand some of my coworkers, and I’m still sad about my friend’s death. But I have regained hope, and a semblance of normally, and perhaps most importantly of all, I have begun to build a plan.
A plan to get out.
I was so broken up after my last talk with Second Boss in Command. I went home and sobbed and sobbed, and Husband saw me, and offered comfort, and we talked about plans to get me out. So now I am going to work, but keeping in mind that I won’t have to work with these people much longer, or spend every day in this cold, uncaring, clique-y place. And that is enough to help me feel better.
On top of that, a job interview fell into my lap through a connection, and it is promising. The place is very much what I’m looking for, and I have a second interview this week. Perhaps I’ll be out of here soon…
Over the past year I’ve been working hard to acclimate to the office world and to understand and work with the norms of my profession. I’m finally feeling like I have it under control and that I’ve found a way to blend what I want to do with what I have to do. And it’s so relieving. So, with that in mind, I offer this new Cat Wisdom Wednesday (a feature resurrected from oh so long ago) – a quotation by Robert Frost:
Always fall in with what you’re asked to accept. Take what is given, and make it over your way. My aim in life has always been to hold my own with whatever’s going. Not against: with.
I had some unfinished streams of though from my last post. Mainly, I talked about all the segments of society that I’ve been exposed to and am comfortable with, but I didn’t fully articulate why that was relevant to my new office. So I’d like to do that now. It can be summed up in one phrase:
A lack of diversity
For much of my life, particularly during the teenage and early adult years (which psychologists agree are when worldview is formed and solidified), authorities around me were extolling the virtues of diversity. In high school, I remember Tolerance Days, where we talked about the value of different experiences and preached tolerance for those who were different from us.
As I chose a college, diversity was a big topic on the list of attributes to look for. Schools were eager to prove that they were more diverse than their competitors, and I think mine did well on that front for a private school of its caliber.
I internalized and believed in this. To me, a diversity of students meant a diversity of viewpoints which would be brought to the classroom and that translated into a better, broader education. And I believe that it was. In college I gained comfort and familiarity with many accents and foreign names, taking the time to ask my new Indian and Chinese friends to teach me proper pronunciation of their names. I asked them about their parents and their families and learned about different cultural expectations. I witnessed first hand how those affected the decisions of my peers – in what subjects to study, what social activities to engage in, and even in who to date. To me, this was a valuable social and cultural education earned outside the classroom.
But it was more than that. The wide variance in backgrounds, tastes, and interests combined with the school’s individualistic culture to significantly increase my comfort and confidence in being myself. Not only did I feel less pressure to be like everyone else (because what would that be, really?), but I felt that the culture which championed diversity maybe even went so far as to value my differentness.
Practically speaking, this meant that I grew into a love for my inner geek. I no longer stayed quiet about the computer games I was enjoying or my excitement to visit the science museum. I might excitedly tell others about a new scientific discovery I had learned about. I combined that with a newfound respect for my body, for my appearance as-is – finally dispensing with the strong desire to look like I thought a woman should appear (thin, with some curves, but not too many).
Maybe these are things that everyone feels as they enter young adulthood. But based on my experiences, I suspect that I was even more liberated by the diversity of the community I joined. I’ve also spent time in communities that were probably over 90% white middle class or higher – and it didn’t feel the same.
By being surrounded by difference, I no longer experienced as many assumptions from others about who I was, what my background included, or what I most likely do with my free time. At least that’s how I perceived it.
But now, I feel like my environment at work – my community there – is more like my high school experiences than my college experiences. I perceive less understanding for differentness and more expectation of shared experiences and desires. I can’t help but be strongly reminded of high school community – and who wants to feel like they’re in high school?
Flicka Mawa stretches a paw out from under the furniture she’s been hiding beneath. Slowly, the sleek adult cat inches her way out, yawning. It’s clear she is waking up from a lengthy nap.
Now more alert, she raises her tail and turns her head, surveying her surroundings. Cocking her head to one side, she looks thoughtful. After a short pause, she bounds toward the window ledge, leaps up to her perch, and peers outside at the world. It’s almost as though you can see her thinking, enjoying the view and her new perspective on it. Her subtle body language suggests her contentment, and it’s hard not to feel at peace as you watch her. Flicka Mawa is happy.
Readers, friends, passersby: I have been absent for a time now, but I’ve thought of you, and of my home here, in this nook of the blogosphere. Life has been busy and there have been many adjustments as I’ve settled in to my new job. There have been changes, some welcome, some not as much, but nonetheless the days and weeks have gone by.
I find myself here now, ready to write again, hoping that I’ll find the time now that I’ve got this wonderful toy, a shiny and beautiful new iPhone. I say toy because it is incredibly fun to use, but for me it is practical and productive as well. I’m composing this post, in fact, while travelling – and it is during my hour long subway commute that I most love this device and it’s many capabilities.
This time, however, I’m travelling home from my mother’s house in Pawtucket, RI. She spent the early part of the week in the hospital, but is better now. It seems there was some type of blood flow problem in her brain, possible a transient ischemic attack (commonly known as a mini-stroke), but none of the tests were conclusive. Luckily on the day she was discharged from the hospital my bosses let me take off and travel to take care of her. I cooked her wholesome balanced meals and encouraged her to rest and relax, which she’s not at all prone to do on her own. It was great to see her, even under less than ideal circumstances.
The break was nice for me too, as life has been quite stressful lately. I really enjoy my new job, but my days are often filled with short deadlines and complex projects. It makes the days interesting, exciting, and even fun for me, but I often arrive home completely drained. Adjusting to a new lifestyle has its challenges, and this is my first 9-5 job. On top of that, many of our friends have been experiencing tough times, and Husband and I try our best to keep our hearts open to them.
With the new schedule and often tired state, I’ve struggled to keep in touch with my friends, and it leads me to worry how many times I can decline an invitation before they stop coming. I’m managing ok with my closest friends, I think, but it’s all the more casual relationships that threaten to fade. I do hope to still make it out to spend time with all of the fun and interesting people that I call my friends. I believe I’ll get out more as my energy levels adjust to the new routine.
I’ve caught up on a few of my favorite blogs, and I look forward to reading more blogs now!
This past week the EPA formally declared 6 greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, to be pollutants. This clears the way for needed regulation of their emissions, and I couldn’t be more pleased.
I’m nearly finished reading an excellent book on environmental policy by Steven Cohen, director of the environmental policy program at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, and I’ve got an improved understanding of the political issues involved in trying to fight global warming. The global nature of the challenge really does present lots of new issues that policy-makers hadn’t dealt with before, but it finally seems that the amount of social learning in our American society has risen to the level we’ll need to begin to seriously tackle this problem.
Republicans are still clinging to the argument that it’s either environment or economy, and not both, but I think Americans are finally beginning to see past that. With the advances in understanding and technology that we’ve made, particularly in the last two decades, we now see that not only is it not a one-to-one tradeoff between protecting the environment and growing the economy, but that we can use this immense challenge to grow our economy and our jobs.
Furthermore, continuing to ignore the environmental challenges that are rising poses significant threats to private enterprise and the global economy, and that should matter to Republicans too. The article describes further threats to our infrastructure and public, threats that are large enough to interfere in our industry and impact our economy:
Among the ill effects of rising atmospheric concentrations of the gases, the agency found, were increased drought, more heavy downpours and flooding, more frequent and intense heat waves and wildfires, a steeper rise in sea levels and harm to water resources, agriculture, wildlife and ecosystems.
As our nation’s scientists and policy-makers lead the way in finding solutions to the problem, our workers, including unskilled, skilled, and knowledge-based, will have plenty of work to do. And that is work that has to be done here and cannot be outsourced. It involves working in our buildings, in our parks, and on our infrastructure. It represents what can become a significant source of economic growth for the country and its communities, and it is the best way forward that I can see.
I am so glad that America is finally joining the rest of the industrialized world in a quest to tackle the 21st century challenge of global climate change. And, as ever, I am proud to have Obama as our leader.