Entry 64, Plateau

First off, I have decided to change to entries instead of tracking days after missing a couple days. Also I took a day off from writing every week or two up to this point as well so doing entries seems like a more honest approach.

I have been feeling dis-interested over the past few days almost like I hit a plateau of sorts. I do not enjoy repetition of things that aren’t much fun which is what reviewing my journal entries was starting to feel like. It feels like I am grinding my way through them just to do it because that’s what I said I was going to do. There must be a way to use them that doesn’t feel so repetitious. This feels like one of those instances where something that was once lifting me up is now holding me down.

Perhaps I will read through and find entries that offer something of value to me in the place I am in now. That feels like a better idea than grinding my way through just for the sake of getting through it. This way feels more like going with the flow.

As for this plateau feeling that I have been feeling, Trying to put it into words is difficult. The word plateau is pretty descriptive in itself although in this case it feels like the plateau is at the top of the mountain I was climbing and I am now standing on this flat surface surrounded by clouds not sure where to go next. Another way to describe it would be having made my way through the rapids and arriving in a calm lake where the water is so deep there seems to be no current and the fog has rolled in. This unfamiliar feeling of … is it peace?  or something else?

It feels like I finished my to-do list and now I don’t know what to do with myself which is exactly what happened at work yesterday. I had a list of tasks that I was hoping to get done by the end of the day which I finished  a couple hours early and was left sitting there with my thumb up my butt and feeling tired for an hour before I decided to leave early. When I got home I still felt fatigued and had nothing that I needed to do nor really wanted to do so I grabbed a beer and watched a movie and some T.V. before going to bed.

I have this feeling that I have to make good use of my day off from work by accomplishing something. Perhaps that idea/belief is not really serving me too well as the best use for this day off might simply be to rest. The issue I am having is that I feel restless which makes sense now that I think of it. How can I rest while feeling rest-less? I want to let go of this go-go-go mentality that I have developed for work as I don’t think its really doing me much good right now. It also leaves me exhausted at the end of the work day so it might not be the best approach then either. Meditating and writing down anything that I am trying to remember for later will allow me to clear my mind and start with a blank slate. Then I can Rest.

Day 63, Building Tolerance

For the last few days I really haven’t had a desire to write much, It feels like my entries have become somewhat repetitive as I revisit my old journal entries. I haven’t had any strong negative emotions that I feel require dissecting and dealing with. I have noticed that my “Eczema” is back in full swing on my hands, arms and legs which means that something is out of whack and I have been putting on some weight again.

Since returning to work I have been eating more fried food and consuming more sugar as I have been getting tired and wanting a boost. I have been feeling less rested in the mornings as well which could be the result of my diet. Something I am doing is not serving me as well I would like but I am not able to distinguish that thing from everything else just yet. One nice thing is that whatever it is will get bigger and bigger until I have no choice but to see it and deal with it.

Just yesterday I heard myself tell a co-worker in regards to spicy foods that normally I feel the effects of even a little spice but since I have been eating hot sauce everyday for weeks now that I barely notice it. I suppose that same principle can apply to anything that might be uncomfortable at first. The more I expose myself to something that is uncomfortable the more I get used to it and the less aware I am of its effects. I become de-sensitized over time to the point that I cannot even tell that I am hurting myself. So how can I re-sensitize myself?

Perhaps the Idea of toughness that I have learned to value is a belief that no longer serves me. Perhaps being “Tough” or “Thick-skinned” really just means that I can’t feel when I am hurting instead of meaning that I cant be hurt. Perhaps being vulnerable and open is the only way to feel the small hurts before they become big hurts. I would rather notice soon than later when I am hurting myself so how can I allow that to be?  Maybe this is me noticing earlier than I used to and this is my opportunity to make new choices.

I was doing pretty good when I first returned to work but lately I have been falling back into old habits again. I have been pushing myself too hard at work, trying to pick up everyone else’s slack and tiring myself out. Then I turn to more food and Pop/soda for energy to combat my lack of energy and voila! I am back in an endless loop of filling the void which is created by filling the void. I have been doing more and meditating less, I have been planning more and being(in the moment) less.

I caught a glimpse of someone I would like to be and began taking steps to make it happen which has thrown me out of whack. I want to get back to riding the current instead of trying to direct the flow. Every time I make an effort to be someone, I forget to be me. I try to be the guy who has it all figured out, the guy with all the answers , the incorruptible, the guy who’s always happy, the guy who fixes things, The guy who is consistent and reliable, the guy…..

Today after work I was waiting for my taxi while a co-worker was waiting for her ride to pick her up and we chatted for a bit. This girl is a cheerleader and finishes every sentence with a big smile and a cute laugh no matter what. This is the character she has chosen to be for whatever her reasons are and I wonder how many people really cant see the sadness that I can in her eyes when she tells half of her stories. Perhaps I can see past the character/ego because I have dissected my own previously or maybe that is my gift, The ability to see through the illusion. Maybe it’s that I am able to decide for myself what I am looking at rather than let other people influence what I am seeing.

So why then do I allow myself or my own ego to sell me the illusion that I am fine when I am actually not fine?

It could be that I want to be fine and so the sale is an easy one, My brain offers up the idea that I am fine and I say “ooh that sounds nice, ill buy that”. It seems easier to buy the lie than to face the truth until the truth gets too big to be ignored. I want to get better at recognizing the lies before I buy them from my-self. My Ego wants for everything to be good or fine and so when I trust my ego to decide for me I give up my own power to this imaginary identity and I end up suffering for this idea of who I am.

The moment I anchor myself to an idea I begin to form an ego and limit my own growth. My energy and life force flows freely and the moment I latch onto something I stop going with the flow. I want to master the art of reaching for ideas as long as they are serving me and recognizing the moment they are not. That girl, the cheerleader asked me what my goals or ambitions in life are and I could not answer her with anything more than ” I just want to be happy”. That has been my line for probably 7 years maybe 8 now.

It just hit me, My goal is: To master the art of going with the flow.

 

 

Day 62, Shit-head kids

Today was pretty hectic at work as we were slightly understaffed and busier than we usually are. I got to do some tasks that I had never done before simply because there was no one else available and thankfully I  fumbled my way through them. My first reaction was to panic a little and look for a way out, when I realized there was no escape I settled in and focused on the task at hand.

I was pleasantly surprised by some of my staff who stepped up and delivered some top notch performances today when I needed them the most. There was even a fist fight that broke out between some boys at the park today which was broken up by one of my staff pretty quickly for which he was rewarded with one of the moms tearing a strip off of him for yelling at her son. She only saw my staff yelling at her son and her son playing victim which made mama bear pretty defensive.

Once everyone vented to me and calmed down a bit I was able to get both sides of the story and explain to both sets of parents that the boys had been throwing insults at each other and roughing each other up while playing some dodgeball. This continued to escalate as the boys took turns picking on each other until they ended up fighting. There was no victim just two participants which I was able to communicate the parents and asked the moms for their help in explaining to their kids to get a staff member the next time someone harasses them so we can deal with it before it escalates.

I have been seeing events like this happen pretty often lately where both fighters run to their parents and claim to be the victim and the parents go wild and threaten to beat the shit out of each other. All I do is stay calm while they tell me how mad they are and how bad the other parent is and their little shit-head kid. I get the story from both kids and my staff if I have someone who saw what went down or I watch the cameras. During this time the kids usually want to go back to playing as they realize that the truth will come out.

Then I get the pleasure of explaining to the parents who moments ago wanted blood that their little victimized angel was trying to bully the other kid and got punched for his trouble. The next step is usually a mix of embarrassment or shock on the parents faces as they realize that they had been played by their kids. I can only hope that this opens their eyes and both the parents and the kids get a little wiser because I would rather not listen to parents threaten each other each time their shit-head children start something that they can’t finish.

Today was an adventure where I was once again put to the test and have come out stronger and more confident in my ability to “Weather the storm”

Day 61, JP 34

page 34

[[[[ I Can be a better friend. In the past I had always taken my friends for granted. Always searching for a new thing to make me feel good. The new things was always short lived. the joy always came from being with friends. I have been a confused Douchebag for most of my life.                                                                                                                                      I see the pattern clearly. In my pursuit of advancement I pushed my friends aside, or pursuit of a woman , whatever it was that I thought would make me whole. I left my friends in my wake. not long after I Would realize that I Wasn’t happy so I Would Find a new pursuit and repeat the cycle. Always searching and never satisfied, never at peace.                                                                                                                                                                  I Can be different. By making joy or fun my goal. I don’t have to be the best to have friends. I don’t have to strive for perfection to be fun. I can make having fun more important than winning. I can be different.]]]]]

Even five years ago I was becoming more aware of my own faults and striving to make changes. I stumbled a lot along the way as I was constantly trying to bridge too large a gap and falling into the depths of depression each time I failed. My failures helped me to develop an all-encompassing sense of doubt which when  mixed with my overly positive jargon and ideas made for some serious confusion and internal discord. Basically I ended up back at square one which will show up later in my journal.

It’s up to me to make different choices this time and walk a new fresh path instead of repeating the pattern. Having lived through the rise and fall once before I think I will be able to spot the warning signs this time around. I now know to stick to small shifts that feel like relief and this time it’s not just theory as I have had opportunity to practice. As always, time will tell and I will do my best to enjoy that time.

 

Day 60, Life is good.

Life is looking pretty good right now. I was at Physiotherapy in the pool today when my Physiotherapist told me that I am making the smoothest recovery from a Broken foot that she has seen.I am making progress through baby steps in the area of self improvement on a daily basis. I have more money available to me in my bank account than I have had in over two years. I like where I live , how I live and who I live with. Each day I am learning more about who I really am and how to face my problems when they appear before me and turn them into stepping stones. I even like my job, the reason being that I can see it as the tool it is for helping me iron out my personal flaws. I feel like a block of clay that is finally being sculpted instead of having more clay added to it.

The best part is that I don’t have that feeling of waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me. I have this feeling of anticipation for what’s next and the confidence that I can handle whatever it is. I am finally spending more time in the moment being alive and present while looking towards the future with hope. I am proud of myself for having the courage to give myself advice and to listen to it. I am amazed that I had the balls to put my journal on the internet and I haven’t left anything out even when there were times I wanted to and will want to.

I play less than two hours of video games a week and when I do its a card game(Magic), even four months ago I would not have thought that statement possible and when I told my ex-wife that I don’t have the desire to play video games anymore she had to pick her jaw up off the floor. She can still remember the sound of my chair rolling across the floor as I set up for my nightly gaming sessions . Gaming was my escape from my life and I tried to spend as much time as I could plugged in, which only made my days harder to deal with as I was always tired from only getting a few hours sleep each night. Basically gaming was my addiction as I never felt good unless I was plugged in.

My life feels more organic or natural than I can ever remember it feeling before. I don’t feel like I have to force anything or be anything special. I might look back at this in a few years and laugh but for now I feel like I am finally going with my flow.

In a couple of days I will be 36 years old. I am a balding and a bit overweight, Half of my clothes have holes in them. I don’t own a house or vehicle, I don’t have any investments beyond a TV and some “magic” cards. I am bankrupt and divorced, I work for peanuts(I am allergic to peanuts btw). I have never been happier than I am now and I spend the majority of my day at peace or smiling/laughing, I have never felt richer or more free in my life. I just want more of what I have been having  🙂

Oh and my Roommates dog keeps my feet warm while I type out my blog.

 

Day 59, Work Drama, Relief.

I talked to my co-worker who I dubbed “Judas” in yesterday’s entry earlier today. I waited until he was heading out to do a supply run and walked him to his car so we were out of earshot from both our manager and the other assistant manager. He knew something was up the moment I said I would walk him out and the moment the doors closed behind us he asked” so what’s up?” The words that came out of my mouth were not nearly as eloquent as what I had previously planned on saying .

I did start with “I am not in a position to discipline you or give you shit” I stuttered and lost my place a bit here and had to leave my plan behind and think in the moment. I said ” Whenever you dip, dive, duck and dodge  problems and situations at work you are leaving them for someone else to deal with and lately that someone has been me” I continued ” We both have the same job and expectations ” He asked for some specifics which is how most “women” will try and win an argument as most men don’t deal in details(this has been my experience). I had some specifics easily rise to the top as the issues that triggered this whole event took place just a few days before on Sunday. Judas apologized and said ” We are all part of the same team and have to pull our weight” I replied ” exactly”. Judas left to run his errands.

I was a little jittery I think is a good word for it, That physical feeling as tension leaves the body like when playing poker and you hit your miracle card and can’t stop your hands from shaking. When Judas returned He was in good spirits and there was zero tension between us, I even saw him searching for a notebook to better keep track of his tasks. Time will tell if this has made an impact on the circumstances but I know already that I feel better about it all.

The advice I usually give to people who are afraid of upsetting someone is to simply talk to them and explain how you feel and think. Two to three times in the last week I gave that same advice to people in similar situations who have what seems like a difficult topic to address and I was blind to how that same advice would apply to my own path. This is far from the first instance like this where the advice I am giving out is actually meant for myself. I can’t see what is right in front of me if I am looking upstream.

If I had spoken up right away when this first happened I might have avoided all of the struggles during the past week or two by simply facing the issue head on. Trying to avoid what is coming automatically turns my boat upstream and blinds me to the solution which is usually represented in equal proportion to the problem. Avoiding problems is the same as avoiding growth and without growth I become stagnant and tired lacking the energy that comes with growing who I am.

This experience is another piece of evidence that facing my issues head on is the best approach in the end as trying to dip, duck, dive and dodge them just wastes time and energy.

Day 58, Work drama

I am faced with what I see as a difficult situation at work. There are three assistant managers, one manager in house, one manager deported and one Regional manager who visits once a month. I am one of the assistant managers and we three more or less run the place it seems as the in-house manager has only started to develop a backbone and lay down the law when she feels like it. There are certain expectations placed upon the assistant managers as far as tasks to perform and responsibilities.

Two (my self and “Theresa”)of us are making a solid effort to learn and grow to benefit the park whereas the third(“Judas”) is more interested in dodging the responsibilities and being friends with all of the staff. This has been going on for a while and both Theresa and I used to be of a similar mind before I broke my foot although I was not so concerned with people liking me just with dodging certain responsibilities. In my absence Theresa stepped up to take on some of the tasks that I was doing and has continued to make improvements and since my return I have taken steps to tackle the aspects of the job that I used to avoid.

Judas has made no effort to improve and has simply learned how to fake his tasks and cruise on by. This is now affecting Theresa and I more as we have to clean up after him and the work load that he dodges is landing directly in our laps. My In-house manager is aware of these things and has not been able to deal with it at all. I am friendly with Judas and we get along well enough as we work together a fair bit. I know that if the regional manager knew what the rest of us knew, Judas would be gone tomorrow.

My issue is this, Things cannot continue as they are without me growing to resent Judas as I am already beginning to do. It doesn’t feel right to tell on him to the regional boss-man and my in-house manager isn’t doing anything. Theresa and I are now faced with the situation that we are both complicit in his failings because we keep our mouths shut, not wanting to pass judgement on our peer. I am faced with the idea of talking to Judas and explaining my side of things to see if he can shake himself out of apathy. If he doesn’t change his ways then I may have to stop holding my tongue because his actions are at my expense.

I suppose I am resistant to the idea of talking to him because I am assuming it will go badly. When really I am feeling bad because I am carrying his burden for him and I should just hand it back and say carry it yourself. My plan is to talk to him tomorrow before we open the park and explain that his inaction is leaving more work for me and negating the work that I am doing to train the staff. If nothing else I think I will feel better having expressed my concerns and I will not cover for him at my expense going forward.

I don’t want this to make working with him awkward, I do want this to make working with him enjoyable. I suppose it’s already awkward for me because I am having an issue with his methods and the only way to make it better is to deal with the issue head on. The same approach I have been taking with the work tasks that I had been avoiding.  I have nothing to gain by ignoring the thorn in my side and everything to gain by pulling it out. Even though the act of pulling it out might be uncomfortable I can imagine a sense of relief after it is done. That is what I am looking for after all is that feeling of relief.

This is what I want to say ” I am not in a position to discipline you or give you shit.I can tell you that each time you dodge a problem or responsibility you are just leaving it for someone else to deal with. That someone is me and I am  just trying to do my job which is the same job you have, your actions are making my job harder to accomplish which I do not appreciate. ”

I’ll see where it goes from there. I have butterflies in my stomach thinking about this chat tomorrow.