Saturday, March 10, 2012

The whale...

...or was it an elephant?

You ever hear the one where some one asks you, 'how do you eat an elephant?'  You might say, 'I don't know.' Personally, I would say, 'with a fork,' which usually causes the questioner to stumble and the joke gets ruined.  But if you aren't a smart ass, like me, and say 'I don't know,' then the person would say, 'one bite at a time.'

Now I don't know why anyone would want to eat an elephant, unless of course its because you've already finished off the tiger, dolphin, and horse, but the concept is intriguing.  Any large project, even one that might be small but is perceived to be big can use this idea to accomplish the goal.  But seriously, the immensity of it gets me sometimes, well actually it gets me a lot of the time.  Even setting small goals its hard to just start without the perfectionist mindset from setting in and stressing me into not starting.

I started digging holes in the yard tonight for my retaining wall, which I started working on last year.  Maybe by the end of the weekend this elephant will be devoured and I can begin on the next.

I should find something far more appetizing than an elephant for my next entree...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Grumpiest old man... must die!

We've all heard misery loves company.  But company definitely doesn't love misery.  Some days I feel like I'm company and a certain coworker is misery.  The only problem with the whole thing is that I often get dragged down to misery's level and become miserable myself.  I hate it.  Often I start talking to someone and by the time I'm done I wonder if I sounded like a whiny little girl or a grumpy old man. 

I'm pretty sure that I usually sound like an awful chimera of both. 

How does this happen? I drive into work, usually after spending about ten minutes hanging with my wife and daughter in silence as my brain warms up to the fact that it is awake. Then while it finishes its boot up cycle I'm half way to work and the last ten minutes I either focus on the good parts of life or get angry at people who drive 30mph (in the left lane, no less) when the speed limit is 65mph, but that anger fades quickly.  And I get to work with a pretty good attitude regardless.

Then I sit at my desk and eat some yogurt as I plan for my day and check the ol' email.  Then into the lab I head.  Ten minutes later I'm ready to throttle the old guy who doesn't have anything nice to say about anything or anyone.  He seems angry and bitter about everything.  His pay, all politicians, coworkers, construction workers, greeters at walmart, ants marching across his desk, and that guy that use to work with him 20 years ago!  Blegh. 

His attitude is corrosive.  I just stick in my head phones and find something semi-positive to listen to, yet he comes in and waits for me to stop to take my earbuds out to listen to his latest complaint.  Aaarrrgghhhh!!!! 

I had to text my wife today for prayer so that I didn't stab him with my lefthanded scissors that he keeps buying me (I write left-handed, but after a lifetime of dealing with right-handed scissors, I'm a righty in my cutting habits).  I had another coworker that told me he would help me dispose of the body. 

I find myself thinking up devious ways to get back at him.

Then while trying to divert my thoughts from revenge today, I was reminded of a movie.  Grumpy old men (go watch it if you haven't already).  And I realized that is my life.  We aren't competing for the love of a woman. I'm competing for my sanity.  I think up ways to make him suffer (I haven't thrown dead fish into his car yet) and luckily he hasn't retaliated, or realized that I do anything to make his worker life harder, otherwise things would escalate like they do in the movie. 

I actually haven't done a lot, I did pour a few granules of sugar on his desk to draw the ants away from mine, but at the time I was mad because he placed a full open bag on my desk, which really drew them towards my desk.  That doesn't really justify anything, I'm just saying I'm turning into a grumpier old man and soon I'll be worse than him.  I don't want that. 

I want joy and peace in my life.  To do that I need to kill the grumpy old man in me.   Its hard.  It'll take a lot of work.  I'm going to have to humble myself.  I might have to crank up the tunes in my earbuds or go deaf to block out some of the whining (doesn't Jesus say something about shoving pencils through your eardrums because its better to lose one, or two, parts of your body than to have it all thrown into hell?  not a literal translation, but I do think it might work in this situation).  Or I could just take Monday, Wednesday and Fridays off and never have to deal with him.

 The last two might be unrealistic, so I guess I'll have to do some internal work on me. 

Feel free to pray...