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.