Runaway Future

28.5.2009

How low can you go before you can’t turn around?

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 19:25

Today at the office, we had members from each of the provincial parties come to a town hall meeting where we were able to present our views and needs as organizations to try to get whoever forms the government on side as we head towards the provincial election.

Listening to the discussions, it finally struck me about how much a balancing act the political game is and how tight is has to be played, especially now in a time of economic uncertainity.

So much, from health to justice to education to roads and so on, requires attention and money. So much is trying to pull from that same pot and while all the parties talk of continuing to honour previous commitments, they also have new programs, new solutions for different problems that they want to put in place.

Clearly there’s not enough honey in that pot to satisfy everyone and cover all the corners, fulfill all the committments.

So the election and the ensuing government becomes more a waiting game then anything else. What will be cut? Who will be left without some dollar bills at the end of the dance?

And The First One Said To The Second One There I Hope You’re Having Fun.

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 19:08

Four years ago this week, I started my first day at my job.

And here I am. Four years later.

I had initially promised myself a year to work, get some cash and then a year to figure my shit out and get going.

And here I am. Four years later.

Of course, last year, this time, the three year anniversary didn’t bother me as much. I was laid up with the ankle at the time.

Since then, things have changed. In my annual evaluation in January, I noted that the previous four months were the hardest I ever faced and it’s continued since then.

My job has changed enough. I’m no longer crawling under desks as much as I am in meetings and doing planning. It’s more responsibility and more work and more maturity, but it’s still the same job. Officially, my job hasn’t changed.

Jim, from the show The Office had this great quote:

“Right now, this is just a job. If I advance any higher in this company then this would be my career. And uh, well, if this were my career, I’d have to throw myself in front of a train.”

I don’t not like doing what I’m doing. I enjoy going into work each day, I actually appreciate the extra responsibilities, even if it might not come with all the respect I’d want with it.

But I have a fear that I’m at the crossroads. If there’s not a switchup soon, I could be there forever. And I don’t think I would want that.

There are a number of projects on my plate that I want to get done before I ever consider moving on. After that…

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 18:55

The first time I ever drank alcohol was either late 2001 or early 2002. It was Grade 11 and it was Colt .45.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was playing and when combined with my new taste of elixir, it was a weird crown on a surreal evening.

My sister picked me up and drove me home. I never saw the end of the movie and Hunter S. Thompson has mystified me ever since.

I’m reading an oral biography on Thompson now and so now is as good a time as any to revisit my relationship with booze.

I would like to think that I don’t drink as much as I used to, even a year ago, although my credit card statement disagrees with that at times. I suppose my tolerance has increased and so drinking has become less binging and more an accompaniment to an evening.

A month or so ago, a co-worker and I were having a conversation about our stresses at the office and the demands of the non-profit sector, especially as we plunge full bore into the busy time of year. She asked me how I dealt with the additional responsibilities that I have been tasked with over the past year and I automatically replied that I drink.

It surprised me a bit at how casual and quick that answer came, but yes, I drink a bit to deal with stresses at work. I then run to also deal with those stresses at work and to keep off the extra pounds that so much drinking should add.

It doesn’t work of course, the beers don’t make the work go away (and thankfully my flirtation with scotch has remained just that, not going into a full relationship). It’s a weakness and it’s a release, but at times, it’s a needed crutch.

I have a cruel sense of pride into my ability to rebound, to go out on the night, come home at an early hour and bounce back for work in the morning. In some ways, I’m no worse for wear. But I can feel the lack of drive or energy, the lack of ambition or motivation, lack of focus. This very well could lead to me losing my writing gig.

I’ve had friends that say out of all their friends, they think I drink the most. That scares me. That bothers me. My parents think I drink too much and again that troubles my mind. The last girl I had anything relatively serious or lasting with told me I drank too much. My excuse was that it was the playoffs, but the fact I haven’t been able to foster any substantial relationship since then makes me wonder how right she was.

It might be affecting me in ways that are too subtle for me to really tell. It might be preventing me from becoming a better person. I don’t think I have a problem with drinking, simply because I drink a lot. I don’t think I’m an alcoholic. But I think I need to control it a bit more. I can’t use it as the crutch I am using it for, simply because of how it affects everything else around it.

It costs too much. If I want to pull myself into something better, I’ll likely need to save money, but to stay where I am, those funds are allocated towards this alcohol therapy.

If I can’t deal with work, then something else has to be done. Not just the bottom of a bottle.

The irony (or ignorance) of all this is that within an hour, I’ll be standing in a bar, with drink in hand.

Where’d my body go

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 18:37

The blinking cursor has always been a bit of a tease to me. It sits there at times, making fun of me. Moreso now then ever.

I’m trying to organize my thoughts in an effort to unload them. I’m trying to write. So I’m racing myself, racing to throw as many words at the screen before the song ends. All while the clothes spin in the dryer.

There’s three topics that I want to write about, plus clearing out the static in between.I have a “follower” on my Tumblr blog. I barely use my Tumblr blog and I don’t really know what a follower is or does. I hope he doesn’t stalk me.

There’s a new restaurant in town that is advertising 1/2 price appetizers every day. Doesn’t that just mean regular priced appetizers? If they are always 1/2 prize, then the “deal” loses any sort of uniqueness and the special becomes the regular price.

And so here I sit, my editor will be impatient that I still haven’t sent in four (FOUR!) articles on 17-year-old hockey players. I’m not writing emails to those who I should be in touch with. I’m not unpacking, doing dishes, running. I’m writing.

8.5.2009

Bird Strike

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 20:07

I turn 24 in a little more than a month and I am still learning about who I am.

Today, I had a conversation with my old boss at the gas station and for the first time, I felt he was talking to me as an equal and as an adult, compared to the kid who pumped gas and checked oil for him for the better part of three years.

Then I came to my parents house and read in the sun room. Hours later, two bangs interrupted my reading. Looking outside, I found two birds who flew into the windows of the sun room and were laying dazed on the ground.

The thought crossed my mind that this could potentially be the last moments of life for these birds and they could potentially be lying there suffering through those last seconds on Earth. So I did what any reasonable person would do. I used one of my Who Wants to Be a Millionaire lifelines and phoned a friend.

Chris has this amazing way of simplifying a lot of things, boiling something down to its lowest common denominator and then throwing it back at you. So when I presented the situation to him and my desire to do “something”, his response was that I can either sit and watch these birds die or not die OR I could kill them.

That’s where the learning about who I am part comes in. I don’t think I have it in me to kill a bird. It likely doesn’t help that I named them both, Moxy and Chester. And I was extremely relieved to watch one bird at least pull himself up while I was talking to Chris. But in the end, I think it would be hard for me to bring myself to put the bird out of its misery. I’m not really sure if that surprises me or if I’m disappointed in myself, but it’s not really something I’ve thought too much about. When I posed this thought to Chris, he turned it around on me as death would be a favour to a bird in misery, ending it quick as opposed to a torturous happening.

Mortality and giving, taking and holding life is something that intrigues me, but not something I’ve really explored or thought about. The main part that has always intrigued me actually has to do with my mom. She works as a nurse at a nursing home and although I am too afraid to ever bring it up, I’ve always wondered about her views on life and death, namely because of the field and location she finds herself in. I assume that she has a bit of a professional distance that she has to hold herself to, but then she talks about the residents with enough vigour that you can tell she takes an active interest in their lives. So when their eventual and unavoidable passing does come, it has to affect her, which then makes me wonder how she deals with it and how she manages to keep going or even why she keeps doing it. Which brings me back to the thing that Chris said, about helping make the last moments of life as easy and pleasant as possible.

In the end, this isn’t about me figuring out I’m too gentle to kill birds or my old boss viewing me as an adult or Chris’ ability to simplify things. Hell, this isn’t even about birds hitting windows, although I was very relieved that in the end, both Moxy and Chester righted themselves up and flew away. I guess this is about Mom and how I think she’s quietly awesome. Happy Mother’s Day.

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