Friday, June 20, 2008

Dying the carpet to match the drapes

Oddly enough this afternoon, I'm alone in the office. Everyone's "offsite" - or they've gone home early because so many people are offsite.

I've got a pile of stuff to do, but thought I'd take a little break first and read the Divine Miss Z's column in the Toronto Star. I'm not usually brought to out-loud laughter and snickering while I'm all by myself, but Antonia Zerbisias, you crack me up. Of course, your columns and blog also move and inform.)

Here is today's column, "No need for silver threads among the gold".

Next time anyone wants to have a little infosnack at work, I suggest reading Antonia.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Jalna and The Eleventh

I just have to do a quick post here as I come back from lunch -- I love this blog by Mary Murtz, who writes about her life from the point of view of a mom, a writer, and as the eleventh child of a family of 12 children.
I just love today's entry on her parents' house. I love her blog "The Eleventh" a lot in general, but this post reminds me how much I enjoyed Mazo de la Roche's Jalna books because (as I just commented in the blog) the house in the books is as much a character as the people.
I started reading the Jalna books as a teenager - there are 16 of them, but believe me, you'll just zoom through them. Of course, like lots of great Canadian books by woman writers (Margaret Millar, anyone?), they may still be out of print. But they're in most libraries -- I found three shelves of de la Roche's books in the library in downtown Boston -- and easily found in used bookstores and online here and here and here and here.
Back to The Eleventh; Mary has vowed to post every single day this year, and I always look forward to her unique point of view.

Friday, June 13, 2008


I just really wanted to post on Friday the 13th.

And I couldn't earlier because we just had a really nasty thunderstorm, which scared the bejayzuz out of me. I've never been one to see the world as a safe place, but going out in a thunderstorm?


Happy Friday :o)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Getting real, facing the music, and having success

Things are better for me at work -- they aren't actually better at work, but they're better for me -- I had a bit of a breakthrough in handling a rather crucial source of my anxiety. The nugget seems to be not wanting to cry. At work, or anywhere outside my home (at home, it's fine!). All tied in with not wanting to appear weak or vulnerable. All tied in with thinking appearing weak was what "attracted" my assaulters to me.*

So the issue this time around was not the assault -- I pretty much dealt with that in therapy several years ago -- it's around my belief as to why it happened, and how I reacted afterwards -- which actually was that I did not cry at all anywhere for a couple of years afterward, then just concentrated on putting as much time between that "very bad day" and the present. And then it moved to, outside my home & at work. Then, I did a bunch of "selective attention", where I looked for evidence that supported my belief that crying at work would be disastrous, and of course found lots.

A few days ago, I became furiously angry at my bosses, who seemed to be scapegoating me for a project (under my jurisdiction), but that they were constantly impeding by sitting on drafts I send them for weeks and weeks. I was so mad I was going to quit and even packed up my desk. Anyway, long story short, about 2 hrs after a really nasty confrontational meeting that solved nothing, I started to tear up at the anxiety, injustice and anger, and my overpowering thought was -- I gotta get out of here!

But I stopped myself -- using my new lessons discussed with the psychologist -- and told my boss we need to talk, and simply explained away my tears** by saying when I am very, very frustrated or angry, I get teary, but let's just carry on. Anyway, we then had a much better, much more open & honest discussion (honesty on her part; I was already honest). The end result -- she's back on my side.

Not sure if I still want to work here, but I'm going to reevaluate in September and decide then.

And so it seems that my anxiety attacks seem to be a post-traumatic stress coda.

* (which happened about 20 years ago; I didn't process it -- just wished it away, and counted on time to make it farther and farther away. Then my GP figured out something was very wrong and referred me to a psychologist who specialized in s&%ual assa*l#. She was wonderful, and unfortunately passed away about 2 yrs ago.)

**(as planned in session; we're doing cognitive behavioural therapy; she's an anxiety specialist - and so am I!)

PS: As for a nice, pretty thing to go with this posting, here's one that gave me a wonderfully painful pang of nostalgia. Check out the banner page of Posie gets cozy. The quilt in the bike basket on the right? I had the same one on my bed growing up. I loved it - it was pretty, without being little girly. And I decorated my room with those colours. Sigh.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Back in the saddle

Despite my best efforts and recent training, my brain is already partially at work, even though it's just Sunday night and "today is just (supposed to be) today".
So, I'll take a moment to enjoy this painting, which we were taking care of, but had to let go of. I was sad to see it (& it's companion piece) go, but it's okay. I can still enjoy it. Best of all, it got me thinking about art again, and that makes me happy. 
Briefly :o) 
Actually, I've had a really lovely weekend. Hardly did anything of note other than go to the library and do a bunch of laundry, but I had lots of fun, silly, amazing, and unstructured time with the boy. And for some reason despite the heat, he's been very snuggly. And what could be better?
Now, on to subject of the j*b. 
The sh*t's running quite rapidly down hill at work these days. They're putting the scr*ws to us big time. As we work our tails off, being watched like hawks, we've suddenly been informed that a) it's already June, b) we're just not producing, and c) we're off to a slow start. As a department, of course. Not to be taken personally. 
The column I write for the prez now MUST be published every two weeks. We've actually only published six in six months. Here's how it usually goes. The last column I wrote was May 13. I sent it off to my boss (who eventually sent it to her boss, who sent it to her boss, and so on and so on and so on) to be reviewed.  I got it back - totally rewritten - just last Wednesday, June 4. As an asap panic omigod rush; must be signed off by Mr. Prez TODAY! When I didn't heard back from him by Friday morning, I was reminded to contact his exec assistant to see if he was going to review it. Wow, there's a novel idea -- call his secretary! It's a pity I only have 20 years' experience to draw on because I never would have thought of that. Then, five minutes after I contacted the EA, I got the edited, approved column back. Then, I was quietly rebuked by my boss (who, I have figured, is 31 years old; I s*it you not) for having emailed the EA, rather than calling her.  
When I'm treated like I'm 8 years old, it's very tempting to behave like one. The only reason I emailed the EA instead of calling her is because I was told to call her. N-yah, n-yah!
In other news: Now this little news item is something I don't like to see. Nor this. In fact, we set out this evening on our bikes to go to $w!$$ Ch^l@t, even though the sky suddenly looked kinda dark. I thought, oh yeah, this'll be the storm we have a tornado. Long story short, it started raining shortly after we set out, so we turned around and hopped in the car. But all we've seen is some lightning over the lake, and a rainbow beside the new tall condo at Yonge & Eg.