Work's a challenge. My boss retired effective June 30, but her last day was actually June 27. I won't lie - it's been a tough year so far for our staff. That's two members of our staff that have left, and two other people in areas that support our programs have also left. 4 people folks. I keep looking for that revolving door so I can seal the darn thing shut. In reality, it's overwhelming. As I told someone last week, every day is a new challenge that has to be conquered. It really is. We're all literally taking life one day at a time now, hoping that eventually it will balance out and stabilize if we just take it as it comes. And I'll be honest with you: this "surviving each day as it comes" is not acceptable to me. It's crap and I don't like it. But I can also whine and complain and kvetch all the time, and it won't change a thing. It is what it is and we have no choice but to take what we've got and make it something better. So I get up every day, and pray, and boldly face the day, believing that one day this too will pass; one day this will work out; one day the load will lighten and we will be back to something that we can call "normal" again. I have to believe that it will. I've been through worse than this and I'm still alive. And I know the Lord wouldn't allow it if it wasn't the path to a better way and a better day. I've done it before, and it looks like I'm called to do it again. It seems a bit soon to me to face radical change again - it's only been 3 years since the last time - but I haven't come this far to fail and be defeated by it.
At times like this, I'm very thankful for the Law of Undulation. It means that it's literally impossible for this to last forever. Either this will pass, or the world will end and it all goes up in ash. Lovely thought, there. I'm sure we all pray for the former but frankly, there are days that the latter doesn't look so bad. I had a friend that would say "this would be a good rapture moment!" when it got really stressful, and I must admit there have been some of those times too. Of course, I'd remind her that "the Lord isn't letting us out that easy" and we'd all get a laugh.
So how do I cope? Well, you know me - when the going gets tough, I get writing, and it seems that sci-fi is my go-to genre for times like these. That's okay, because I like sci-fi. I had someone inform me last week that they though it was awful that I was turning to sci-fi and why don't I do romance? So I did the math for them: I like sci-fi + that's what ebook readers are buying + I don't really give a crap what you think because it's not like you actually read a thing I write anyway = I'm writing sci-fi. It's pretty simple, really. People that know me are going to judge my writing based on what they think of me. Strangers will judge my writing by whether or not it's any good. And there are more people I don't personally than I do personally know. It's not vector calculus.
Rick and I went to the one and only drive-in movie theater a few weeks ago to see World War Z and Man of Steel. We really wanted to see Man of Steel, but it was a double feature and they only let a limited number of people in, so we had to go early and see both movies. I liked Man of Steel, but World War Z wasn't really my thing. I'm not really into zombies, but it seems that's a very popular thing right now. I find it ironic that the brainless, walking dead are popular in a culture accused of "dumbing down." Every time I get in my car, I see brainless activity, and it seems that brain dead crap is always happening in the car in front of me. What's up with that? You wouldn't believe some of the crazy maneuvers I see, and I only have a 10-15 commute each day. It's half of what it used to be, but I see just as much careless driving. It's funny: I know several people teaching their kids to drive and they go on about how driving is a privilege, then they run read lights, swerve lanes, cut off people in traffic, and run Yield signs like they don't exist. There's you're zombies, folks. The brain rots behind the wheel of a car. People ask if I'm afraid to fly and I say no - it's safer to get on an airplane than to get in a car, and I get in the car a lot more often. Why should I be scared to fly? I'm safer at 30,000 feet because those pilots didn't get their license in a Cracker Jack box like many SC drivers obviously did.
Zombies driving - that's amusing. You know what's more amusing? People that call and complain about how depressed they are and how awful their life is, and then then they wonder why nobody wants to talk to them. I've heard a lot of people complaining about this little phenomenon lately. Nobody likes a Debbie Downer. There are 4 things that will run people out of your life faster than the Zombie Apocalypse: crying, whining, complaining, and anger. If you're looking to do some housecleaning in your personal life, employ any of these things and that'll do it in swift order. I've seen it happen and will humbly admit that I've made this mistake. I think it took me going through two major life changes and noticing that only my family remained before I realized that I couldn't monopolize everybody with complaining or fussing about the unfairness of life or they'd leave. I've seen other people suffer this same fate by kvetching about their awful life and crying over the depressing state of things until they raised the rivers to flood stages. I'll even give you a case in point: I know somebody (I promise, not me, but somebody that would bar-b-que me if I mentioned them by name here) that had someone call them every day complaining about being depressed. She tried to cheer this person up to no avail. Finally, one day, the person called while she was in the middle of cooking supper and asked her to come over. The person I know said no, I can't do that, the family will be home soon. "So?" the person said, "I'm depressed! They'll be okay!" That's it, she said. No more. They didn't speak for a while. A couple of months ago, the person I know had a family member get sick. She told this friend, who she decided to forgive and slowly allow back into her life. You know what the friend said? "Oh, stop whining. They'll be fine!" and she curtly said she had to go because she had a visitor and hung up. Do you think the person I know still calls that one a friend? No - and the ex-friend has no idea why she's been cut off!
Addendum: the ex-friend is the one that told me switching to writing sci-fi was awful. Hence, my not caring. I'm pretty sure that if that one were abducted by aliens, they'd bring her back shortly!
The take away: if you want people to be there for you, you have to at least act like you give a crap about them and what they care about. It's my famous tag line: you must at least act like you care even if you don't care about them and their issues any more than you care about the extra 40 minutes in a Martian day. I'll even take it a step further and give you a litmus test: if you're about to call somebody to vent or have a heart to heart, ask youself if you can name two things going on in that person's life that's important to them right now, today, this minute. If you can't, put a sock in it and make the call to find out what's up with them before you commence kvetching. Or read their blog. That'll do it. And don't dare ask for prayers unless you've prayed for others yourself. I know a lot of people guilty of that. Someone asked me to pray for them once. I said sure, remember that I asked for prayers before too. Can I ask that you keep praying? Blush. Oops, forgot. Sorry - but I will! Well, up yours too. You just made the "whatever" list, as in "Lord, I don't wish them ill, but they're stuck on themself and only You can reach them, so whatever you deem appropriate, do it to lead them to a better balanced life." There. Done.
I know I talk about not complaining too much, and here I am doing it. Guilty as charged. I'm calling it as I see it, but I feel examples are in order and frankly, there are a great number of frustrations in my life now. I'm trying, I really am, to get back in balance. It isn't easy, but I don't give up. I'll just keep writing my awful sci-fi and go on with life :)
We're studying the Book of Revelation in our Sunday School Class now. It's interesting. It's also hard to take things too seriously when you consider that it's all going up in disaster and flames one day. The problem is that it hasn't happened yet and we don't know when it will, so we're called to keep on keeping on and taking care of this rock we call home until the day comes that we're released through death, rapture, or disaster. Hmm. Those are things you try not to think too hard about.
We just got back from the beach for the 4th of July. We had a good time, but it was typical 4th of July issues: wall to wall people and sweltering heat. There's only one place you can go 4th of July weekend that isn't crowded, and that's church. Every other place is crowded, and you see it no matter where you go. Even here at home it's crowded. However you celebrate, you have to pack your patience. But we did have a good time. We saw the fireworks at Broadway at the Beach and we saw the Good Vibrations show at The Carolina Opry. I really enjoyed that. They played rock songs from the 60's - 80's and put on a great show. If you're in Myrtle Beach, you should see it. I believe they have that show on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during the summer and Tuesdays and Fridays other times of the year.
But the long weekend is over and tomorrow is back to work time. I shall face the challenges that come and keep working on my writing. And so, it will continue this day, much as every other.
That's all. Thanks for hanging in there, and I hope you have a great week. Here's a video to get us all going.