Strength of Heart

Captain’s Log   5,826

Yes, I am a geek.  This will be me in a few years.  Actually, this might be now.  I wear invisible colanders at the moment.  I can see them but nobody else can.  


Eccentric or crazy?  It’s all in how you perceive it.

Perception is everything.  I have a friend who lost her job last week.  Instead of moaning, carrying on, feeling sad, and blithering about her unjust fate, she contacted me and said the universe has given her a boatload of free time right now – and she wants to make the most of it.  What a refreshing change of pace.  I’m sure she went through a period of grieving over the job loss, but she isn’t letting that stop her.  She is DOING something good for herself.  Too bad more people don’t choose this healthy perspective.  

Most people love to whine too long (in my opinion).  Some people NEVER get over a disappointment and bring it up every chance they get – working it into conversations about owls, the price of oil in Kuwait, or flowers from Central America.  No matter what you talk about, they always find a way to turn the conversation back to themselves and lace it with some self-pity.  Example:   Flowers from Central America?  Wow.  Nobody ever gives ME flowers……”  I just want to scream!  These people do not listen, they wait to unload their pain.  I feel sorry to a point,  but I am losing patience for this kind of thing.  The older I get, the less I like it.  Life is too short for excessive wallowing. 

On some cosmic level, we give abusers permission to abuse us.  For some reason, it serves our emotional needs at the moment.  Some people are afraid to get healthy because it means they will have to change.  It’s so much easier to stay stuck.  Ruts are comfortable.  

There are no victims…..only volunteers.  Nobody really knows who said that, but some attribute it to Eleanor Roosevelt.  I’ll take Eleanor.  She was a wise lady.  She never allowed her personal unhappiness to stand in the way of doing great things.  I never knew Eleanor, but her history astounds and inspires.  Yes, she was born into wealth, but it did not matter.  She was dealt a difficult hand.  She was an orphan by age ten and was on her own for most of her life after that.  Even after her marriage to Franklin, she was always her own person, and I admire her for that.

My office manager speaks English as a third language.  Her choice of vocabulary is always interesting.   She is very fond of the word “dilemma.”  The first time she approached me and said, “Oh, Paulita!  We have a serious dilemma!” I thought the IRS found something wrong with the books or we had sold a car that didn’t belong to the museum.   I soon came to understand how she uses that word.  I hear the word dilemma now when we run out of paper clips.  I now realize she is not being dramatic, she is merely limited with her vocabulary choices when she tries to communicate anything of urgency to me.

Why talk about my office manager?  She is not a victim.  Her Jewish parents fled Lithuania during WWII to avoid the Nazis.  They fled to Italy and then to Mexico.  She was born in Mexico and has one brother.  He came down with polio as a child and has been in a wheelchair his entire life.  She was born with scoliosis which gets worse with every passing year.  

She went on to study dentistry at the University of Mexico and became a professor.  When she moved to the United States, none of her credentials would transfer.  She surrendered her career to open a business with her husband.  Her marriage eventually failed and she was left with two young children to raise on her own.  She did.  She never complained.

She has been through far more than many of us will ever encounter.  And I never hear her complain.  When I hear her pounding down the hallway to explain the latest “dilemma” to me, I smile.  To be so strong is a gift.  She is a role model for me.  If I would ever tell her that, she would deny it and sweep me away with a big “AACCCCK!  Paulita!  Stop being silly!”

I am grateful to have such a strong person so close to me in my work.  I am honored she has given me the name “Paulita.”  She explained that she acknowledges me as an “honorary Latina.”  I’ll take it.  It’s good.  It has clear meaning and brings me great joy.

I am so very blessed.



Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

16 responses to “Strength of Heart

  1. poundheadhere

    No dilemmas too big for Paulita 😉

  2. Valerie

    A good read

  3. Patty O'

    She sounds very special.

  4. Joanie benson

    I don’t even know her and I like her already. See you later today! Me and Barb are gonna get broasted!

  5. Your office manager sounds like a very strong lady. One of my dearest friends when I was working in insurance claims was a little 4’10 black lady. She didn’t take anything from anyone, helped her husband launch a very successful business and wasn’t afraid to speak up when necessary. She started called me her “sista’ friend” and I was so honored.

  6. goatbarnwitch

    Glass half full? Glass half empty? It seems our culture has gotten stuck on half empty. It is a shame really and a waste of good energy. The Roosevelt homes are not farm from where I live. I say homes because Eleanor had one all her own. A extraordinary independent woman at a time when women were often not see as such

  7. Patti

    “Complain about the present and blame it on the past
    I’d like to find your inner child and kick its little ass
    Get over it, get over it
    All this bitchin’ and moanin’ and pitchin’ a fit
    Get over it, get over it”
    gotta love the Eagles!

    Your office manager is an inspiration, glad she is in your life, we could all benefit by knowing someone like her..

  8. She sounds like an interesting person. She doesn’t know the words for “inconvenience” as opposed to a “real problem.” It will come in time.

    To go off on another tangent, I remember a supplies manager complaining — to the world in general, but I was standing there — that every month she had to order more paper clips. I thought about what we usually used them for and how that material was handled; I went to the upstairs office and looked in the desk…and found a box with about 500 clips. I brought most of them back downstairs, and it was months before the lady had to order more. I made it a habit to clear the upstairs desk regularly. 😎 It is indeed perception.

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