As I sat down to write this on Sunday evening, I was really flippin’ ticked off.
I don’t make a statement like that very often these days. For one, I rarely feel that way. About anything. I am happy, content and serenely tolerant 99 percent of the time. OK, more like 90-ish. But that’s still a vast improvement over the me of five years ago.
Two, anger feeds negativity and fear, neither of which I choose to invite into my life if I can possibly avoid them. See, it has been my experience that the root of my rage, ire, pissed-offed-ness … whatever… is always fear. Fear of the unknown, of failure, of being forced to relax my boundaries. And fear can be a paralyzing emotion.
I’m annoyed because this coming week is going to be batshit crazy, and it didn’t have to be that way. Unfortunately, I am not master of the universe (or even MY little universe), so said craziness is beyond my control. I’ve accepted my powerlessness, but that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow.
Here’s the root: I had asked several clients to make some decisions and get me information I needed for three key projects. They didn’t. Well, one did. At 8-effin’-30 on Friday night. As for the others, I expect them to call me today or tomorrow in a panic. I was trying to diminish the likelihood that these projects would overlap with the one already on the books this week — my first event as administrator and marketing manager for the Venture Connectors business association.
Again, because I cannot control other people, all my pleas and pestering fell on deaf ears. Sure, it’s not their problem that I will have to juggle like a circus monkey to get everything done this week. And yes, I could’ve said no to any or all of these clients because I work for myself and that’s my damn prerogative.
But I won’t. I made commitments to these folks, they are counting on me, and while it will be extremely stressful and tricky to keep all the bouncey balls in the air… it won’t be impossible.
A guy in the military I used to know who spent time in some of the foulest armpits of the world would describe nearly any frustration that didn’t involve basic survival as “white people problems.” He told me that a tribesman in a Cambodian village or a young Sudanese mother in a war zone couldn’t give two shits about my Internet service being down, that I had to wait in line for 20 minutes for movie tickets, or any other first-world annoyance — like unresponsive clients. Every time I feel the urge to complain about my life, I remember that phrase.
So yeah, looks like my white people problems have gotten the better of me, and THAT pisses me off even more.
I spent the weekend intermittently fretting about the shitstorm of the coming week. In the past year and a half as my own boss, I have been successful in consciously uncoupling (sorry, couldn’t resist) from work on the weekends. But Saturday – the most perfect day of weather so far this summer — I spent much of the time floating on my raft in the middle of Lakeside mentally smacking myself for repeated futile attempts at getting the work chatter to shut the hell up in my skull.
By God, nothing is allowed to screw with my pool time. This will not stand, man.
And then, I noticed myself getting annoyed with everyone and everything around me.
Here’s just how ridiculous I’ve been the past few days:
I got an e-mail from someone who said, “we agreed,” when what he really meant was “I decided.” So I hollered at the screen, “WE didn’t agree to shit, you pompous douchebag!” I could not tell you the last time I had an outburst like that. I was nearly as surprised as my dogs, who both promptly skittered under my desk.
I frightened my fur babies. This is simply unacceptable.
On Sunday, I got a call and two texts confirming an interview for Thursday. How dare this person blow up my phone on SUNDAY for an appointment that is four freakin’ days away? Like a petulant child, I refused to respond until this morning. Because, kiss my ass.
Oh and then, the pity party commenced. I’ve told a few of my friends to please keep me in mind for weekend plans. Nobody called this weekend, and yet I saw all the fun stuff they were up to on Facebook. So that must mean nobody loves me… boo hoo. Never mind the fact that I didn’t call them either, and I didn’t really want to go anywhere except the pool and Huber’s Orchard & Winery to pick strawberries with my mom (our annual tradition). Sheesh.
One of the reasons I write this blog is for clarity and, well, therapy. I know it works because I already feel better for having put all this down on paper… the knot in my chest has loosened, and I’m feeling less stressed, less vulnerable and much less fearful.
Just like my dad, I have to hurl crappy feelings out of me immediately so I can let them go. Better to do that on my little blog than direct them at the teenage cashier at Kroger — which nearly happened as I bought whipped cream for my fresh strawberry shortcake last night.
Here’s the deal: I don’t like to work under extreme pressure anymore, and I resent being put in that position. It was my M.O. for many years, but chaos is no longer my chosen companion. I have certainly had a lot of practice at it, so I know I can weather it if I have to — with grace. And so I will.
Yep, I will be fine this week because I am fanatically organized, dedicated, smart and conscientious. To sum up, I get shit done. And maybe the blessing here is that I’ll knock out a ton of work in a few short days and be free to relax next week. Hopefully on a raft with a blissfully empty brain.
All told, this is just a minor bump in the asphalt road of a really privileged, awesomely wonderful life. The only cure for anger and resentment is gratitude, and I have THAT in spades.
Time to dust off my brass knuckles, come out swingin’ and kick some ass.
About Amy Higgs
A former newspaper columnist, Amy takes her random, slice-of-life stories to the web. After nine years, she's still just saying.