After a long and glorious spread of days off, I found myself back to work today. Maybe I should say I found myself kind of back at any rate. I worked from the comfy confines of my home office, which is probably about as a good a way to ease back into it as one could reasonably expect. It was still painful and I know it will be more so tomorrow when I resume my customary position locked into the middle of the cube farm.
I don’t know that I’ll ever really make peace with needing to whore my brain out by the hour to the high bidder, but I’ve at least accepted it as the preferable alternative to starvation and homelessness. It seems likely that acceptance is probably as good as it’s going to get. I can’t foresee a circumstances where I would spring fully awake from bed each morning eager and happy to file forms, create new and better slides, and engage the bureaucracy in a ceaseless battle of attrition. Climbing from the bed with my lips twisted into a grimace and with a gritty determination just to get through to the close of business feels like something I can manage, though. That’s probably enough.
If nothing else, I know the posts here are going to start picking up again soon. Few things feed that beast more than anger, frustration, and cynicism. All of those elements are in short supply when I’m left to my own devices. It’s remarkable to see how the word count plummets when I pass a day not filled with meetings and random paperwork. By Thursday, I think it’s safe to assume I’ll have a full head of steam built up and be back in proper form… that may not exactly be a good thing, but it’s at least the enemy I know. That should probably count for something.
Lou Ferrigno as The Incredible Hulk, 1978.
I’ve always had something of a temper. It’s a family trait. Over the years I’ve learned, mostly, to suppress the worst of it. I’ve got plenty of tells if you know what you’re looking for, but for the most part I get away with it. Any facial expression that ranges from indifferent to annoyed and you’ve basically strayed into the red zone. It’s hardly the work of a zen master, but it’s what I can manage.
My carefully cultivated facade cracked for a moment today. I found myself halfway down the hall in what could generously be described as a blinding fit of rage before that small voice of reason cut through to remind me that grabbing someone by the tie and bouncing their head off the closest available wall is considered inappropriate… and probably detrimental to my career. I reigned it it, walked it off, and seethed quietly for the next hour.
I’ve spent my adult life working on the art of mastering my temper and learning what I need to do to keep it in check. I slipped today and I hate myself for it – not so much that it happened but because it offered up a brief glimpse at what evil lurks in the hearts of men.
As a certain Facebook friend of mine is fond of pointing out, I have a bit of a tendency to “bitch about everything.” Guilty as charged. I can’t deny it. I might as well deny the rise and fall of the tide. I like to think my bitching and complaining is the last line of defense; the thing that keeps my blood pressure from spiking to the point of literally blasting off the top of my head. Sure, it never actually changes anything, but it makes me feel better. As I wrote in closing last night, blogging is my safety valve, letting me vent the day’s anger, hostility, and frustration into something like an appropriate channel, or if not strictly appropriate, maybe at least shunting it off into a space where it doesn’t do any lasting damage.
I’ve lived in my head a long time now and if there’s anything I’ve come to know about how I work, it’s that the ranting and raving aren’t the trouble. The real problems come in sullen silence on the days when I don’t say anything all. Those are my worst days – the ones where everything is roiling below the surface. Those days are the hard ones to get through with some semblance of sanity intact.
Today, the sun is up again, the week has careened past its zenith, and mercifully the weekend is coming on a day early. That’s a far cry from saying all is right with the world, but for the time being at least my particular black dog is back on its leash. Don’t worry though, there are still plenty of things that have annoyed me this week, so we’re well on track for tomorrow’s post… because it wouldn’t be Thursday if I didn’t bitch about at least three things.