January 07, 2005

Is that shirt on correctly? Is that arrow pointing the right way?

The last few weeks have been full of sad news; of large and small losses. By various unrelated circumstances, four people have left my work in as many weeks. This to me, seems like some kind of negative record. This is just my subjective opinion.

But I'm not used to getting wounded by a bunch of little paper cuts: "#1 Ouch, that hurt. I'll miss working with that person. Sigh. Get over it and adapt. #2 Ouch - that hurt. Sigh..." etc. etc. I think the proper phrase is "death by a thousand cuts" or something. I'm not used to this. I'm used to a full-on, glorious group beheading; to the whole blamed company going down the tubes, with a big layoff of the staff, whereafter a bunch of us might run into each other at the E.I. office the next morning. You know, big and agonizingly painful, not just small and slightly depressing.

It could just be some displaced guilt on my part, due to the fact that I'm still around. It's probably unwarranted or stupid for me to even entertain any guilty conscience. Maybe it's that I'm used to feeling a lot worse than this. (That sounds backwards.) Maybe it's just the residual after-taste from dozens of "goodbye" cakes. They taste nice at the time, but can repeat on ya later... (ah, finaly, a metaphor I can sink my teeth into.)

Top this whining off with killer tsunamis, feeling sad for other coworkers who are suffering through family losses and grief, or news stories of people freezing to death on the streets. And in the foreground of all of this stuff, my regular monthly cycle of not being able to get my work completed quickly enough. I feel like I've been apologizing for little failings for weeks now.

There definitely are happy, positive, or successful moments where I feel gratified again - proud of my accomplishments and of how I try to treat my friends, family or coworkers. However, sometimes it's difficult to keep the happy thoughts balanced in mind alongside the unhappy thoughts.

Today, I was having a bite of lunch in the school's dining hall with my coworker Carol. She asked me what my t-shirt said. It's a Christmas present from my in-laws that says "I'm with Stoopid" with an arrow that points up. (I'm quite proud to wear it, really.)

"What does it mean?" she asked.

"Huh? 'I'm with stupid', but the arrow points up." I made a gesture towards my chin and smiled cheesily.

"Where are you pointing? To god?" she asked, looking to the ceiling and laughing.

Wow. Good one, I thought to myself later on.

If a god is up there somewhere (and as an ahtiest, I'm not saying I would believe in him/her/them/it even if he/she/they/it did exist), then I think that such a being must have a wicked, dark sense of humour.

A buddhist would tell me that the dark humour is all my own. Maybe *I* really am with stupid. :)

I can't wait for Spring, when things begin to grow and bloom again...

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