Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hard On Yourself

There's a new trend on Facebook right now: people keep sharing these 'lists' of things that you need to do to
achieve happiness
lose weight
be successful
etcetera, etcetera.
Much as I loathe the idea of them (a knee-jerk reaction to 'self-help' stuff, which I was over-exposed to during my many years as a bookseller), I actually find some of them quite helpful, since I always seem to read them when I most need to.
Today's was "15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy", a list which included things like:
The need to be right
Complaining
Resistance to Change
Excuses
The Past

I came home from work today feeling mad at my boss, who luckily is away for weeks at a time but who was all-too-present this afternoon. For some reason, I am never the singing, dancing frog around her. (Thanks to Warner Brothers, and the excellent Douglas Coupland and his book "Microserfs" for this analogy, which I know I've used before.)
My boss at the puppet store makes me feel stupid. No, that's not exactly true; I AM stupid around her. I am the dull, vague, inefficient version of myself when she's there. I am nervous, I am flustered, I make stupid mistakes and worse, stupid decisions. I think some people just set you off like that. There are magnets that attract, and then there are those that repel. She can be kind, like when she told me to bring my hulking great bicycle into the tiny store yesterday so I could fix the chain. But her manner is often impatient, intolerant, and her communication skills are terrible. I worked my tail off today, burning through a list of 'to-do's', but of course, when she walked in I was reading. Murphy's Law. And she found the one bag of puppets I'd missed, and wondered why I hadn't put them out, and tsk-ed over another bag of finger puppets that were still lying about, and I felt all the pride and satisfaction of a hard-working day evaporate.

So, the boss is a tool. And the job is a low-level retail stop-gap anyway. But I still want to take heed of some of the things on that list. I know that I often have an overwhelming need to be right, even if it would be more politic to be silent. I resist change, which can make me grumpy when someone makes me change. I make excuses ('oh, it's only a crappy retail job; why should I work the full 8 hours? I think I'll read for a while") when I should work harder.

I don't want to be one of those bitter losers who blame all their troubles on other people. I know that I have lots of good qualities and talents, but there are things that hold me back as well, and I hope I can let some of them go.
Partly so I can get the fuck out of this boring retail hell and never look back.

*Next Day: Okay, so actually my boss apologized today for her behavior of last night and was appreciative of my hard work (and I DID work hard) today. So I'm eating humble pie. Or crow. Or whatever the appropriate expression is. Sometimes people can surprise you in a good way.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

I posted here last week and while I was at it, I did some spring cleaning. Do you like it? It's a bit rainy-looking, this new template, but then, so is my city, a great deal of the time, so I think it fits.
Last week's post may have been a trifle... mean-spirited. Let's just say it was an exorcism of sorts; a goodbye to some feelings that have occupied too much of my brain for too long. Enough.
This week, I want to celebrate the kindness and company of my lovely friends, without whom I would be so much less. And as I have been shockingly lazy with my camera lately, words will just have to do.
There are old folk-band friends, the laughter and jokes and musical shorthand we have together even after so many years since we last all played in the same room.
There are my singing-group buddies, who get together just for the love of hearing our voices in 6-part harmony AND, even more importantly, for the comfort of checking in, telling our stories to each other and getting sympathy, support, or belly laughs as the occasion warrants.
There are girlfriends, who have an alarming tendency to move far away, but who are still awesome, even at a distance.
There are my far-away friends, who check in via email and Facebook and say things like we miss you and how are you and can't wait to see you again. I know talk is cheap, especially on the internet, but every sentence is appreciated.
There are my exes: one of whom I live with, one of whom is a close friend and one of whom is still fresh enough that we are negotiating our new relationship, but with laughter and (I hope) kindness.
And there is a new person in my life, who buys me dinner, likes long walks on the beach (WHAT a cliche! But so romantic, nonetheless), kisses my nose, and takes me dancing. And even though we are both clumsy on the dance floor we hold hands and take a chance and move together.
And because of all these people, life is good.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Despite her sincere attempts to end up with difficult guys, Accordion Girl kept getting distracted by gentlemen of the finest calibre.

It was a problem she could live with.

(As always, Accordion Girl is a bit tiny. Click on the images to enlarge them, and use the Right Arrow key to scroll through them.)