Sunday, 18 October 2009

Stressful Life Stuff

I didn't, as you can tell, write 7 Quick Takes. I don't know whether anyone noticed or not, as I don't know how anxiously you all await my Friday tell-all. I had been too tired and stressed to complete it; in the end I didn't have time.

This post will not be organized into 7 coherent points, sadly. Instead I'm going to give you the basic idea of what went on.
Work was a little stressful. The building I am working in--formerly the Gift Shop, now the Presbyterian Church/the programs-collections building--was overhauled this week. We did lots of cleaning, furniture was moved all over the place, and boxes of stuff were relocated or trashed/recycled. Not only do I find that stressful in and of itself, there has also been tension between some co-workers. I am not involved in any of that tension, but I do have to hear about it and deal with people who are unhappy or grumpy as a result. I also have to watch myself, that I don't get accidentally caught up in any of these conflicts. In the end I try to do my job as well as I can, avoid breaking rules, and deal with any potential conflicts in a timely manner. That doesn't always work, but it might.
To compound this stress, I have been trying to deal with confusing and bureaucratic application system for the OGS (Ontario Grant Scholarship). I hate paperwork, and it's even worse when you have to spend lots of money mailing it from Fort McNowhere Alberta. Yesterday I did get the last of the application submitted on-line and put in the mail, but even afterwards I felt only stress when relief or celebration or at least calm would have been in order.
All of this is made worse by being lonely and chronically tired. My knees still hurt, as does the knuckle of my right index finger. For a few days my tailbone hurt because I wiped out on the icy/slushy boardwalk at work. I wouldn't say I'm entirely miserable, but this week has been stressful and depressing.

And all of this is made worse by the fact that I am at least daily aware that most of the world has a life far worse than mine, that I have been given many things, most of which I am probably ignorant of. I feel like I ought to be celebratory and grateful, and I can't find anything to make me feel either of these things. When I pray at night I recognize this and 'reform' at least until I stop praying, but for most of the day I'm bummed. All week I look forward to the weekend, and all weekend I (inwardly) bemoan how much of my free time is being wasted. Meanwhile, there are people who work 60+ hours a week (compared to my 40) and send 50% of their paycheque to their family overseas or in Newfoundland, just to prevent said family from starving. So I feel guilty for feeling unhappy, and therefore feel even more unhappy.

Lesson: feeling like you ought to feel happy has never made anyone happier.

Instead, we need to come up with concrete ways of acheiving this peace. I have begun with prayer. Action is a good follow-up. I will likely put my name in to be a server at church. I need to make sure that it's not just because I want to wear an alb again, but beyond that I think I'll go for it.
I need to write more, and not feel pressured to produce. So that's it: I'm not worried about producing any more. I'll dither around as much as I like. I'm supposed to be writing for my own pleasure and for the education of humanity, not as a career. So I'll focus on what matters.
I still need an attitude adjustment for work. That is, to be happy and purposeful there. Hmmmm. Not sure how I'll handle that yet. That one's hard.

And perhaps I'm putting too much on (my own) happiness, after all. I likely am.

Anyway, I hadn't posted because I was trying to deal with those things, and then I was trying to celebrate and be happy.

In other news, I finished Book Three of The Faerie Queene. I still think that ought to be a movie. There were two endings, one earlier and the other revised to fit the story of books four through six. I recognise the need for the change, since the original tied up a story which needed to end untied for the other books to work, but I did prefer the first one. Perhaps, in another post, I will include it in its entirety.

Oh, the weather was beautiful yesterday and Friday afternoon. All week before that it was cold and snowing. I hope the snow stays back again until November, but there might not be much chance of that.

That's it for now. I plan to resume the whole 7 Quick Takes thing this Friday, but we'll have to see how busy I am.

Later, all,

Christian H aka English Clergyman


Jon Wong said...

May I refer you to this:

Specifically the part about why trying to rationalize yourself into why you shouldn't be "unhappy" only produces more unhappiness. Feelings are feelings. I don't know why we spend so much time trying to rationalize them.

Cait said...


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