harold_maude's journal

Stress and things that make you go...

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# 29517

The last three days are done. I had them off but a series of cirumstansces made it impossible to relax.

It started Sunday, with my manager telling me that if they needed extra hands they would be giving me a call.
It has been a long month and there have been frustrations at every turn, and the thought of having 4 days all together without having to think about work, or anything related to work was like getting a mini vacation.

Something I desperately needed to unwind and actually be able to relax.

Something told me that when he said that, somewhere in the next three days I was going to get at least one call telling me they needed me there.
Then there was the customer. The one that can't make a decision because they are too stressed out. I spend the next 45 minuets trying to offer suggestions and the person with them won't be quiet long enough to let them think.

By the time it was all said and done, I had 15 minuets left of work and several things yet that I had to complete.
I got one of the things partially done.

Monday. I spend the day jumping every time the phone rings.
Breath a sigh of reilef when I know the store has closed.

Tuesday. I get a phone call from someone that I don't want to hear from. Someone who wants to talk for 2 plus hours and talks non stop.
And on top of that this person is the kind of person who has the ablity to make you feel like your being smothered.
Luckily I was on my way out the door.
When I get back, I'm now in a state of even bigger stress because I know I will get a call from work before thanks giving and I know that tomorrow this person will call again and hopefull I can tell them in a kind way I don't have the energy for them in my life.
I again breathe a sigh of relief when the store closes.
It's brief. I don't sleep so good.

Wensday. As sure as black clouds bring rain, the two things I have been waiting for happen. I get a call from this person, and luckily again I was on my way out the door. And work calls.
They are in need of me comming in and when I do I may end up being called up to do something I'm not very well trained at, and as a result I make lots of mistakes and end up with some really pissed off people.
While I'm at work, one of my relatives calls who I have asked not to call me, or contact me.
They have a history of ruining people's lives.
How they got my number in the first place was bugging someone that didn't realize they weren't suppose to give my number out.
I get home. I know that thanksgiving is tomorrow and I know that the person who I need to be blunt with is going to call and I don't sleep so good.

Thursday. Yep. They call. I have to be hard and blunt. They haven't in the past gotten the message that they require so much emotionaly energy that it takes time to recover from a phone call from them.
I don't like being hard. I don't like being cold. But there are times in my life that I've found that those are the only things that some people actually can hear before they stop doing the things that take so much.

I made it clear that they require too much energy for me to be able to be there to spend as much time as they require talking and talking.

With thoes things done, I was finally able to enjoy thanksgiving. Except I feel like I got ripped off. I couldn't enjoy the days I had off.
I spent them in a stressed state.

There are days that I would love to be able to just wander off somewhere and not have to think about being "on" for anyone or anything.

When I finish my day at work, I leave it there. I wasn't that way when I first started. I took it home with me and worked things over in my mind trying to come up with ideas that would make what I do make a difference.

Now, after three months, I don't do that anymore. When I'm at work, I give my all, and work hard. That's what I get paid to do.
When I come home, I don't think about work. It's not my problem anymore.
I know this corporation will survive, whether or not I make a difference or whether or not what I do or don't do makes any difference at all.
I have come to the place where I refuse to let work eat my life up.

I know I am disposable. Everyone is. Most people don't realize that they are about two paychecks away from being jobless, and very shortly there after loosing everything they've busted their asses to get.

It's the way things are here. Nothing is set in cement. And there are only two gaurentees in this life, one is that the goverment will require of you if you work, taxes, and the other is that at some point in time you will take your last breath.

Jobs get outsourced, jobs become extinct, jobs are filled by people who leave after one or two days and the end result is that no matter what you know about you in your heart, that you can be counted on, and that you will work hard, all the employer sees is a body to fill a space. That's it.

If your lucky, and you have a good relationship with the people you work with, it works in your favor, but sometimes it doesn't.
Sometimes it doesn't matter.
The company has decited to send the job you do and others you work with to a country where the same job can be done for so much less.
And then they just give you a notice that your job no longer exists.
That's what Gateway did to thousands of it's workers.
And that's just one company.

It all comes down to money. That stuff that people spend their lives working to get.
And in the end, even if they manage to be wise with what money they have, they may wake up one day and find that they are no longer needed.

They have to start over. If they are older than 20 something, getting a job is harder. They have to go through a whole lot of non sense, jump through hoops and learn in some cases how to be devious to get the job.

So anyway, here it is, thanksgiving night, I have a very early work day tomorrow, and I'm not ready for it. I know it won't slow down until after the first of the year. I hope that I can make it through with out pulling out all my hair.

This morning I was reading articles in a magazine called "Adbusters".
All of what I read, was well written, concise, and very intense.
And very "in your face".

The ads that were shown had the advertizing stripped away and comments about different things. Every single one made me think about what most ad's make me think of while I'm looking at other magazines.

That we are viewed as wallets with legs. That youth is all there is, and that we spend millions of dollars each year for crap we don't need.

It was, to say the least, over whelming to read things that stripped away all the pretty and all the glamor and all the glitz and just say what's really going on.

There was this one, a little girl standing there in some designer outfit talking about how she throws a temper tantum and uses guilt to get her father to buy her anything she wants.
She must have been all of 10.

That's a big secret of the advertising world when selling things to kids, who are the next generation of major money holders in this country.

There have been studies done on kids for years and armed with the knowldge of how the effective way that making a toy look and seem so exciting and fun will make the average child who watches lots of t.v. do anything to get their parents to buy it for them, are well on the way to shaping the next generation into very controllable and very pliant people.

There is an illusion that is played upon, that if we own this or that, we are the best, the most unique and everyone will want to be us.
The reality of that illusion is that we spend so much of our lives our money and what ever else we give up on desperatly trying to live that illusion.

And while we are slowly and systematicly being stripped of all that makes us who we are, those who control things are sitting back pulling the strings.

I figure by the time that people begin to fully realize what's been going on for a very long time, they will be too weak willed to fight back.

Every article, every picture in that magazine was in my face, screaming for people to wake up.
I had to put it down and walk away after a while. It was all so well written, all so take the blinders off and knock your socks off and all so depressing.

I ended up feeling very helpless. And in a state of reaffermation that my convictions about corporate america and all it's ties to so many people, places, and goverments are so full of things that are going on, that if a 10th of what they were really doing was exposed, anarchy would break out.
And so would total chaos.

...but maybe if it did, then there wouldn't be so much want disguised as need being shoved down our throats.

Animal crackers, a thought that is taking shape

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# 29307

I just finished reading my last post so that I could continue with the train of thought and where I was going, and it occured to me that there are times in my life when the need to wander off on some mental walk in the park is very nessary.

Last night, after everyone left, and in a rather relaxed state of mind, I was going to come back here and continue with my thoughts. I went to bed instead.

This morning the song "animal crackers in my soup" is playing over and over in my head. But only parts of it. The part about lions and tigers going loop de loop.
Loop de loop. What a funny part to be stuck on. Sometimes I go loop de loop I think, as most people do at some point in their lives.

It can't be helped. We are subject to responding to stress.
And depending on what the stress is and how big the wrench is that it's using to turn the screws, the loop de loop that we end up doing may turn out to be quite large.

Sometimes it's quite large and if we are of a mind that it doesn't matter who's watching or keeping score of things we do or say, it can be almost carthic, I think I spelled that right.

On the occasion when the stress level gets to the "red" zone in my life, usually due to money issues or some equally intense thing that I can't fix or change because it usually involves someone else, I tend to go a little or alot of some deep end.

Sometimes, if it's too much, I will drink. It's propbably a good thing that we can't afford to buy liquor that often. Sometimes people show up with some.
And if the mix is just right, I can and will take shots.
Last night ended up being one of thoes nights. I didn't end up getting completely trashed, but had enough to take the edge I was feeling off.

It was good. I don't drink often, but when I do what I like best about it is the quality it holds to kill pain. Along with the stress level I was feeling when I got on last night, before the company showed up, I was in extrodinary pain. My muscles were so tight that I probably could have pulled a bow across them and played music.

Most days when the pain is extrorinary, my hands hurt to move, and every other joint in my body is screaming, I end up taking something so that I can continue to function.
I've been putting off going to a doctor to tell me what I already know. That the gentic quality of arthris that has plagued people in my family is in the process of doing it's thing.

Over the last few years pain has become something very familiar.
And being an artist who needs to paint, the same kind of need that humans have to breathe, I have ignored the pain for the most part. Adjusting my life with over the counter pain killers.

I've checked into glucosamine, I'm not sure I spelled that right, and from all the research I've come up with, it may be the thing that will extend my years as a painter. I hope so.
I'm just now comming into a place where I understand the freedom of being able to speak the language of art that is inside me.

It's only taken most of my life to get here. I often wish that I could go back about 25 years, and have what I understand now about life and art intact so that I could have another 2o or so years of being able to create realativly pain free.

It's not fair that just as a person is comming into that place in life where they finally start understanding things, and are able to finally be so comfortable with the tools they use that working with them is second nature, their body starts falling apart.

I think about matise, his body betrayed him and what ended up happening was that he could no longer hold the tools of art so he ended up using cut shapes to create with.

I believe he ended up in a wheel chair. It's not fair. It sucks actually.

My body is going to end up a narled mess and my brain will be making art and my hands will hang there with the joints of my hands and the joints of my wrists and elbows and shoulders screaming at me in a twisted way.
And I will have to look at them. They will be a constant reminder of what I am capable of but not able to do.
I suppose I could start learning to paint with a brush held between my teeth, but the way things go in life, by the time I'm proficiant enough to do what I do now with my hands, my jaw won't be strong enough any more to hold a brush.

So I go a little nuts, let that part of me go wild and have a good time. I think about off the wall things and follow the trail to where ever. And enjoy the ride. Life is so short.

When your young and still trying to figure out who the hell you are, and what it is that you want to do with your life, and all the crap that seems important because it makes you jump through hoops even when you don't want to is going on, it doesn't really enter your mind that there will come a time when you can see things more clearly, and when you do, the realization that most of the crap didn't end up mattering anyway, because it's only you walking in your shoes, and no matter what you do or don't do, no one else can really determine how you feel about things, how you like your eggs and what your about.

That's your stuff. You own that. If your one of the lucky people out there who observe what other people are doing and watch the end results and realize that human nature is basicly the same with most people about most things, and make choices about passing things, whether or not you really want to go through the end result, based on what you observe, then the more important things that you need to pay attention to will be how you go through life, mostly.

It wasn't until three weeks before my father died that I realized I would never win his approval. I had wasted years trying to hear thoes words, "honey, I'm proud of you"
I spent years trying to do just the right thing. Be the right thing, just to hear those words.
My body worked then, with out constant pain. Granted I was emersed in art then too, but it was shaded and shaped by this deep need to hear that from him.
I didn't realize that it didn't matter if he ever said them or not. I am an artist. Nothing will change that. He wasn't living in my shoes. I was. It took so long to get here, where I realize that it doesn't matter if anyone out there approves or not.

To understand that finally, only to have this body of mine going the way of my family...it sucks.

My very own box of crackers

# 29256

In my little corner of the world, where I exist, I have it my way in my own little box of crackers.

It's good to be the wax paper at times and it's also good to be a misshapen cookie.
I prefer animal crackers to the kind that taste like chicken.

I'm going to put a pause button here because a bunch of people just showed up and I'm gonna go spend some time just enjoying their company.

Wandering Penguins

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# 29195

Have you ever wondered what your reaction would be if some morning in the not too distant future and open your door and find a penguin staring up at you?

It's an amazing thing to consider. How would a penguin find the climate where you live? Maybe he or she accidently got on the wrong boat and then ended up in a mess of cargo crates and some how the post office missed the bird and then it found it's way to your door. Barring any traffic accidents by seeing such a strange sight on the street.

I can immagine the bird would be tired and thristy and I can immagine the person viewing the bird would be in a state of speachlessness for at least a little while, and then react some how...

What a delicious thought. To be utterly and completely caught off gard. It would make the papers. You'd talk about the day for years and that look of this black and white animated creature standing at your door. This is getting better and better....

I would love to be able to hear the penguins thoughts at that moment. And be able to speak penguin with him or her. Wouldn't that be amazing?
Think of all the things you could talk about with a penguin...I'm not sure they would understand the concept of fast food places though, considering they have to fend off seals and sharks to eat, and I'm sure the idea of paying for daycare would simply go over their sense of parenthood responsiblities.

Can you immagine talking to a penguin about t.v.? Something that so fills our lives and many times acts a substitue baby sitter.

I wonder what they think of us? If they could would they keep us in zoos so they could study our behavior, and mating rituals and how we take care of our children?

So many things to think about. So much is missed in daily life, also known as the rat race, the daily grind, same stuff, just a different day thing...
When was the last time you spent time wondering about something?
And let thoes thoughts take you somewhere and maybe in the process show you some really amazing things about you?

Do your self a favor and the next time you pick up something that seems out of place, why not take a few minuets and let it take you on a journey somewhere...maybe to oz or maybe to neverland or maybe even to the moon or saturn or venus...or maybe to the very center of the universe..or maybe to the next cookie in the jar. *smiling*

Thursday Morning

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# 29057

Thursday morning. A whole day. No people asking how to what if and do I have. It's a sweet thing not to have to face that.
Some days I feel like I have lots of corks in my body and people just pull them out at will and take what they want.
Some times they put the corks back where they belong and sometimes they don't.

My job. I'm free of it today. It's like being given a ticket to a full body massage and told I can have as long as I want.

So here I am, writing about having a day off. Makes me realize that what I do for a living takes from me even when I'm not there.
It's even invaded my dreams. The want to have everything fall into place and work better than it's ever worked and then my job will be done and I can move on.

*smiles* I think I have a view of this job like what I see people as who come into my life. One more person in need and they show up and take what they need and then leave.
No emotional attachment, just like going to a food bank. You take what you need, with in the limits set down by the food bank and then go. You don't remember the person who is behind the first counter, or the people who help you in the room with all the food. The only focus is the fact that you've been eating maybe once a day, and your sick because you haven't had enough to eat and after you get this food you'll begin to feel better, and hopefull find a job before it runs out.

Food stamps, though very nessiary for many americans, are a bitch to deal with. You can buy any food item, but nothing to wipe your ass with or wash your clothes in or brush your teeth with.

That's why you hope you find a job before the food from the food bank runs out.

Anyway, I think I see this job and the people I encounter there as just one more thing in need. And as soon as it's running the way it should and strong, then I can move on to other things.
But the truth is that this job doesn't need me. The people I work with don't need me. It's corporate. It will go on. With or with out me being there.

I think I know why I have this view of my job. Everything in my life that comes into my life seems to be in need. People come into the picture who are in need and when they have what they need they go. Every job I've had over the last year has been very limited, expept this one. No one wants the job I have. It was a dead horse when I walked into it, and I am, for better or worse, a person who has been designed to spend the majority of their life with the wounded. Maybe I should have been a nurse, or a doctor. But I don't do so good with math, so I would never have suceeded in either one of thoes fields.

It never occured to me until last night sometime that I'm looking and treating this job like a wounded person. In other words I'm taking my job personally. It's just a job. I get paid to do what I do. And tomorrow if they find someone more qualified than me I would be once again jobless.

That's the reality of the world. People get pushed out of their jobs all the time. Either their jobs are downsized, out sourced, or someone comes along who can do it better. What once existed in this country of people having enough value, that companies saw them not as wallets with legs, but rather as human beings is pretty much gone.
It's all gone.

We are in a time when money makes the wheels turn and the person who has the most has the power. So getting comfortable in a job is not so wise. Going into debt, something many many people end up doing is not so wise. We are expendable. Like so much product that has to be in the currant mode of being popular to survive. If a certian amount of time goes by and the currant fads change than we get moved out, into the clearance isle.

The clock is ticking and if we still haven't moved, then our value is cut and cut and cut, and then it's finally into the dumpster with us.

Hmmmm....what all of this wandering has to do with my day off, I'm not sure. Except maybe that I would love to win the lottery so I can look at my job as a fun moment in time and not take it so personal anymore. It would be nice. I could tell my manager that all the other things he throws on top of it, like so much dirty laundry on top of clean, isn't something I'm going to do anymore. That all I want to do, and am willing to do is the job for which I was hiered. Period. Then maybe it would be fun in stead of what it is.

Would be nice.

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