A Thought on Change

Sometimes change is scary but still a necessity…

It’s early morning and I find myself awake suddenly, sleep has been fairly elusive for me for as long as I can remember so it’s not a new sensation.  I found myself journaling on paper for the first time in a long time and decided to move some thoughts here as I wind down to go back to my bed and my snuggle pooch.

Uncomfortable Territory

Last night I went to an online community which I used to spend a lot of time with for a meeting (yes recovery related).  It has been a while since I’ve been to one of these meetings and I am incredibly well versed in this particular program thus I was hoping to work through one of the tools that I have been somewhat stuck on the last few days.  I found myself in uncomfortable territory as I knew absolutely nobody in a place where I used to be a fixture, part of me was happy to see so many new people seeking help but another part of me was somewhat depressed to see so many new people needing help.

In any case, I brought up what I was hoping to work on to little effect (my tool was much more advanced and most meetings at this particular site are geared towards early tools).  I sat through a good majority of the meeting but removed myself when I felt things were going south for me, the meeting started to tilt towards other methods used by other programs.  I thought it best to leave the meeting and let them do what they need to do as it was non productive for myself and possibly dangerous to others for me to stay.  I entered the public chat instead to see what other strange changes have happened.

I must bring up that years ago this particular community suffered a problem with a technology provider going south and a large number of us “fixtures” moved on to another platform as a stop-gap measure until things got figured out.  The organization that maintained this online community hit us with a lot of push back over the change taking it as a threat and as such a large rift was formed.  I will say that our stop-gap has become fairly permanent and while small our community is incredibly tight knit.  We have genuine concern for each other and it’s not uncommon for one of us to reach out to another when we suspect they need help.

In the public chat system of the old community I saw very few familiar faces, one of which I was very happy to see as I had not spoken with this person in a very very long time.  We had some very good conversation and we also managed to help guide two newcomers to help within that community.  I didn’t dare bring up our little side group for fear of the push back (banning, etc.) from the old community, I played it fairly straight forward.  While I never did accomplish getting past my “stuck” point in the tool that I am working I felt more emotionally calm and sound having possibly helped others.

I suppose the point of all this is that I was a part of a relatively strong and large community that simply changed, I felt incredibly uncomfortable last night as the old familiar feel of the community was gone.  Perhaps had I gone back sooner when they rebuilt the chat and meeting systems and let myself stay there I might have felt more comfortable with the change as it would have been more gradual.  Fact is, during the flux time of that community I myself was in a horrible flux time.  Fact is, I’m still experiencing a flux time though nowhere near as horrible.

Change, and seeing the results of change can often be incredibly scary.  I take comfort in the thought that both communities are still around at present and that both communities have no quam reaching out to those needing help.  I take pride in my knowledge of the tools and while my lack of using the tools in the past is depressing the thought that I am using the tools actively on a consistent basis currently gives me hope.  Will I once again haunt the pages and meetings of this older community that I was once a fixture in?  I cannot say for sure, at worst I will return now and then I suppose even if it’s just to refresh myself with a more dynamic group as our members are fairly fixed.

 I can take responsibility and utilize my own agency~~

I cannot say I like the changes I see, and in the case of the meetings being geared to early tools I am not a fan of the fact that some changes I feel are necessary have not happened.  The fact is communities like these exist for just that purpose to serve a community not to serve just me.  I can take responsibility and utilize my own agency to reach out to someone directly to help me with my more advanced tools.  I have to remember my goals and my responsibilities, it’s no longer a time to hide regardless of how uncomfortable with change I am.

The world is not going to stop for me, nor should it.  And I should not stop for any discomfort whether incredible or otherwise.  I have been blessed with a very large support system, many times many people have genuine concern for my well being and to ignore this fact any longer is a disservice to those that are there for me, as well as myself.  With that thought I will close and wander back to my bed and my pooch.

Tomorrow we should face whatever changes we need to with strength and understanding.

~J

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Of overtime and Work Ethics 

Sleep, shower, cook, eat, work, cook, eat, sleep – rinse and repeat.  This pay period is going to go a long way in easing some of my financial stress at least.  We’re incredibly busy and they opened the gates for overtime for pretty much as many hours as I decide I want to work!

And so if there’s a shift I have taken it, it’s been 10-14 hour days since Tuesday and I’m scheduled through the weekend and Monday I will most likely grab shifts for the rest of the week this weekend.  Sure I’m a bit tired and I need to get some time for homework but I’m grabbing the hours while I can.

I’m taking Tuesday off to do laundry and general homework not to mention catch up on sleep and some self care.  All told however I really don’t mind these long hours, keeps me out of trouble. Yesterday was supposed to be a short day (8 hours) with me scheduled to start at 3 the morning felt like I had a day off!!

Well, until they called me at 9:30 to see if I could go in “as soon as possible”.  Today?? 11-7 but of course all day yesterday they kept asking and hoping I would go in closer to 8 this morning, I might but I’m not sure yet.  It’s 5:30 and I’m not able to get back to sleep so perhaps after I’ve read my beloved paper I’ll meander in.

With my life being so bumpy the last few years its been a while since I’ve “been great” at something and honestly I’m enjoying that feeling again.  Granted it is a crap job, minimum wage in a call center a temporary solution for immediate need but I still have pride in my work again.  I’ve been top closer every day this week and by a good margin at that getting me pretty much a golden ticket to work whenever and however I want.  

They simply leave me alone to rock my phone and I enjoy that, I feel sorry for the other poor saps who line the isles with coaches constantly walking up and down looking over shoulders giving corrections and cutting those that are having a bad day.  I think that it would drive me mad!  The conversations in the break room are all the same “they won’t give me hours, I’m not making any money!! Waaaah”.

Simple bit of advice guyzos, maybe if you worked the dialer on a consistent basis instead of reading and coloring waiting for the dialed to work you, you might just get more accomplished.  I don’t like to sit and wait for my next call, I drop the dialer into manual mode and slam calls 100% of the time I’m at that desk.  It’s a numbers game, if I can fire off 1500 calls in a shift I’m going to close some surveys, even with bad data full of disconnected numbers.

I digress, it seems work ethic is lost on the generations after mine (I’ve been feeling a tad old lately realizing generation X hasn’t been a thing for a long while now).  The good majority of my coworkers are young kids and those that are older are there because much like me hard on luck.  News flash, your going to continue to be hard on your luck as long as you prioritize getting stoned above getting ahead!  Just because pots legal here doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to smoke up before your shift at during break!  It slows you down and kills productivity, don’t space out and then bitch when you get cut!! Thicken your skin, suck it up, and do your job!

I suppose this has turned complete rant this morning, hah!  I honestly am feeling much better about myself today though.  Being able to take pride in my work again regardless of how menial that work may be.  And knowing it won’t always be this call center.

In the coming days I meet with an old friend to talk about going back to the tech industry.  This decision I did not take lightly as there is a risk I burn out and go off the rails again, I debated with myself for weeks over the possibilities and deliberately chose this particular friend to work for to protect myself and have no interest in a high level position, I’ve simply outgrown the complex rat race life.

And so, for today I will have the breakfast I am currently cooking, read my paper, call my friend, and I think I will go in at 11.

No matter what you do, take pride in it as it makes the work easier!

~J

Waiting for my paper!

I should be a paper delivery person, I would be early every day.  I sit waiting this morning for what seems like everything.

The coffee pot….

The paper…..

my shift at work…

Hah, payday

So awake at 4 am with no paper I decide to pop in an old movie, hackers.  I have to laugh at this movie as they really did try hard but just absolutely failed to hit the mark.  Being a geek I can point out the million references they attempted and being a man of course a young Jolie yeah okay easy on the eyes.  Movie overall though total horrible and yet I have it on DVD why??  Well because I can, I have a lot of horrible movies on DVD I had a conversation with a friend about this just the other day.  They are re making all my old favorites and ruining them, Charlie and the chocolate factory, mad max, oh my god Blade Runner!!

How do you touch Blade Runner?  Ever?? The premise is simple and hilarious when I think about it, I’m getting old!!  The vast majority of movie watchers were born after 1990 (holy crap 90? 2000??) and don’t have the fond memories of playing baseball in the cul de sac or watching movies on a giant television.  Half of them have no idea what black and white or beta max even were.  HAH!  “If you could only see what I’ve seen through your eyes” I would say quoting my beloved Blade Runner.  The fact is the younger crowd doesn’t know any better and the older crowd (i.e. me) will watch just to have something to hate.

With my menial job (that I actually enjoy lol) I get paid to ask people questions which are mostly political but…. the most interesting is when I get to the demographics and ask “in what year were you born?”  It’s interesting as a pollster that very rarely do youth actually answer questions yet everyone complaining that nobody is listening is in this same age group.  Maybe someday when I’ve had my breakfast and paper and hot coffee I’ll do some random study on this but for now I will laugh.  The strangest part of my day is hearing 1990 something when asking someone when they were born.  Next year people born in 2000 will be able to buy cigs lol.

Funny, I’m a pollster now I get paid to ask questions…  what an odd realization for me this morning!  And I just heard the paper smack the porch I’m off to read and hopefully enjoy a cup of coffee.  The movie in the background eh…. it’s there for noise and not much else.  Still incredibly hilarious to me when I catch a glimpse here and there.  Even online has changed since I remember it.  Every user has instant access and it used to be we would dial in, nobody remembers loading a tape or hearing the clicks and whirs let alone the term warez lol…

I suppose I’m getting old but that’s okay on to my paper

~J

The Colorado Classic

Today the west side was buzzing as was downtown but many people simply could not get anywhere.  The Colorado classic is a crazy bike race with 93.5 miles done in Colorado Springs.  Roads on the west side were closed and luckily I was able to get out of my neighborhood without too much trouble.  Apparently the day was filled with live music, food, games, the whole bit and of course a peloton!

I wish I didn’t have to work actually as Death Cab for Cutie was here but such is life.  There was much to do earlier in the week as they had to axe Lance Armstrong as a face for the event as it would violate his restrictions.  Not that I care I suppose in fact I find it incredibly hilarious that his former coach Chris Carmichael has his business based out of Colorado Springs, it’s just up the road and I’ve actually done work for them in the past.

I’m not big on cycling so I suppose it really doesn’t make much difference to me but I’m always glad to see city wide events happen here.  Call it pride for my city?  I mean where else can one have such an amazing view, fairly mild weather most the time, and 360 days of sunshine?  I love my home.

~J

What I Don’t Know

Sometimes what I don’t know is a better reason for action.

This is somewhat of a two part thought so bear with me, I’ve often found four words to be incredibly frustrating to me when I either hear them or say them myself.

I Don’t Know How…….

What is this?  In the context of hearing them being frustrating I find it often simply means “I don’t want to” or “I don’t know how and I don’t care to learn”.  It seems often to be a quick and simple cop out or way of avoiding an unfavorable task.  Sometimes, this can simply be a quick and easy way of avoiding something out of fear or anxiety surrounding the possibility of failure.

A quick and dirty yet incredibly effective tactic in avoidance that often results in success.  I would classify this as “efficient” but, what has someone efficiently accomplished?  I would be a liar to say I myself haven’t used this wonderful tactic in my lifespan and it seems so efficient that I could not even remember when.  It is when a person uses this tactic on a constant basis with intention and awareness of it’s efficacy that I begin to gnash my teeth.

The idea that I could shrug off responsibility or opportunity for personal growth with four simple words is baffling to me sometimes.  There is that whole hubbub about four letter words, how about the four word phrase?  I simply cannot understand what propels someone to be content in stagnation and I do understand that to state this is quite hypocritical of me for reasons that I will get into some other time.

Let me give you some back story real quick, I managed to build a very successful career as well as become prominent in what I will call a more academic community both without any formal training, qualifications, or initial “knowing how to”.  I accomplished this through opening myself to learning, general curiosity, the will to progress, and yes a lot of hard work and sleepless nights.  I struggled and scrambled, dealt with condescension, accepted and examined a lot of criticism, and a lot of failure.  I took risks and learned how to talk to people well above my level and more importantly to listen to those people even if I disagreed.

I did this through action

I would have had a much easier time simply being content to sit and play video games, watch television, sleep, or just sit on the couch eating chips and staring at the wall; all the time making big plans on what I was going to be or do in my head.  Instead I took action reading and networking, going out of my way to network with people and get my hands on whatever tools I could to learn by myself.  I have taught myself a broad range of things from information technology to microbiology and even cooking.  I did this through action.

I’ve also managed to destroy much of this over time but again, more on this in future posts.  The point is had I said “I don’t know how to” and left it at that I don’t think my life would be so fulfilling, I have met many amazing people on my journey and experienced so many things that a lot of people out there may never get the chance to, and for that I am grateful all by avoiding those four words and using action.  Imagine for a minute if as babies and toddlers we were to use this cop out to avoid learning things such as how to eat, talk, use the restroom, walk, etc. I do not think we would get very far.  And if the forefathers of invention such as Tesla, Edison, Newton, Aristotle, and so on, had they used these words as a cop out instead of a reason for exploration I would not be typing this now.

This of course brings me to explore the second part of this thought, the use of “I don’t know how to” as a means of inciting curiosity and solution finding.  My opinion here is that this exhibits itself more internally as a thought rather than externally as a statement.  That is to say it occurs when someone sees a rough goal or vision to reach and realizes that at present there is no knowledge of how to get there.  When this opportunity appears the miracle can happen should that person decide to take action.

Having typed that thought out and analyzing it further I now wonder if I should have even used that fork in the road in this post.  The initial part of the post was meant to explore my frustration of “I don’t know how to” as a cop out or excuse, this second part I believe has more to do with a much longer string of words “I don’t know how to but, I think”.  The simple addition of three words changes the dynamic a full 180 degrees don’t you think?

I always hated bullshit affirmations such as “Thomas Edison said I found 2000 ways not to make a light bulb I only needed to find one way to make it work”, seriously??  First off every time I see the quote the number is different, secondly I’m not Thomas Edison but what does this say for my own mentality?  Am I really open to failure or should I brush them off as simply finding ways that don’t work?  I not only value but thrive on learning if I look at failure as a means to learn in this manner then I should seek failure should I not?  I think we should take every opportunity to learn from failure but place our energy into seeking knowledge through success.

In any case, of the myriad of thoughts whipping through my head I decided to reach out and grab one and you got what I grabbed.  Whether through success or failure, action or complacency, I hope at the end of my days I can look back at a fulfilling life.

~J

 

Unless You’re Jim Henson Don’t Expect to Change Shit

If everything around you fails expectations perhaps it’s your expectations?

Yesterday was a very rough day for me in fact it’s been a rough couple of days but today especially. Today I saw my grandparents off to move to Arizona, the home I consider to be my family home will soon be listed and no longer be the place I’ve always felt the safest. Today my aunt and I had much to do so we did what we do best… we did (if that makes sense). We had a three day plan to get things done and at the time of this writing we’re pretty much done granted there are a few cleanup things tomorrow.

Naturally as family is people get “volunteered” and others that volunteer themselves end up having an expectation set. Well, needless to say we had most everything done before the help was even awake. Aside from the emotional frustration, the tiredness from working so hard, the sadness, the everything…. Well so my work shift gets cancelled, traffic was a pain in the rear, I haven’t had a full night sleep in days in fact I’m lucky if I get more than half hour spurts peppered with nightmares, my patio is flooded from the rain due to my piss poor property manager, yadda, yadda, yadda.

After all was said and done while sitting down with my wonderful auntie and relaxing for a bit before coming home and chatting (well bitching about things really) I realized that everyone has emotions affected by others, I honestly knew this but a lot of times at least for me knowledge often gets buried in current emotions. For some random reason I blurted out “Yeah, unless your Jim Henson, don’t expect to control shit!” hence the title of this post, we both laughed but realized it’s entirely true!!

So taking this into account I suppose I can focus on the things within my bounds of control, most notably my perception of things! I can also control my external reaction regardless of my perception and emotional state should I choose. If Bob decides to scream at me for wearing brown shoes with my black pants I can simply nod and smile rather than argue the fact that my most comfortable shoes are brown, chances are with a reaction like this I will walk away feeling better than I would if I were to engage in a senseless argument that serves no purpose other than to raise tension.

Interesting way to think in my opinion when I begin to dissect it as I would most likely not be entirely aware that I am in a better emotional state by not engaging in the argument with Bob who I cannot control this brings a new angle to the already complex conundrum of focusing on what I can control. In this manner even though I can control my perception and external reaction to a degree I truly cannot control it completely as I would be unaware of what I would experience should I have behaved or taken things in a different light. The best way I can break this down to myself is to compare true skydiving to one of those indoor skydiving activities, unless I experience both I cannot truly make any comparisons as to which is better for me.

Does this mean I should try reacting or perceiving multiple ways? Perhaps the perception part in multiple angles would benefit me as a whole but I think if I were to attempt negative reactions in many situations I would be worse off and the experiment while interesting would most likely destroy me over time. So maintaining an attitude towards perception from multiple angles but tempering my reactions to keep them positive might just be a better way to go for a healthier lifestyle overall.

Perhaps the fact that I cannot play the puppeteer as the great Jim Henson was and let the external entities that I cannot control provide me with ideas and inputs to other perceptive angles could act as a strong “growth hormone” to my own internal perceptive traits. Perhaps over time allowing my perceptive traits to grow would provide me with more depth in which to set my own roots as to who I am overall? After all, just as I cannot control those around me; those around me cannot control me and this is the beauty of individuality! Should I have more depth of perception I might posses a stronger sense of tolerance and understanding and by providing a more positive display of reaction might illicit change in something that I cannot control for the better.

Today I will try to maintain a positive external display of myself while still remaining open to others perceptions.

~J