A Woman, Thinking

Review and re-view

Life Organizing and CQ ThoughtsPoppy LochridgeComment
I've been a wee bit uncomfortable with IO questions for the last couple of weeks - my faith is not something I've questioned in a few years and that area is sore-tooth-tender. When I moved from Philadelphia, I left my grove behind. I celebrated holidays with some friends here locally for a while before we all started going off in separate directions. It's just not an area of my life that I've done much with lately.

But before I get too far off on that topic, what I was really saying was that because I've been so uncomfortable with some of the more recent questions, I've been going back and looking at questions that I've already answered from January and February. And finding that my answers are not the same. For some of them, I had perhaps one thought, one possible response, and now I have many. So that's a pleasant thing.

I can do the same with the audios, too. Go back, sit with them again in chunks, when I make time to spend a few minutes with them. And it was the discussion about climate in February that made me pause and think.

I inhabit many climates: there's the physical damp northwest climate, there's the climate of my home, the climate of my work, the climate inside me that is affected by all three.

At work, which is probably the most obviously lurking, hulking shadow I deal with, the first round of layoffs has already happened. The next is scheduled in 2 weeks. The climate has gotten increasingly hostile as what is almost a feud has grown up between our offshore technicians and our Helpdesk agents that answer questions for them. My experience has been that the offshore techs are no worse than any new agent with little experience would be, and the only challenge they truly face is learning how to handle the accent and language problem. But many people are bordering on hostile to them because of the company's decision to give them jobs that up until this year, our friends and colleagues were doing.

The fractiousness has spilled over into other parts of the office. People turn on their teammates for any perceived lack in teamwork, everyone becomes more critical, and morale drops yet again as those who will be left after the layoffs are told they will be expected to be able to do the work of any of their teammates, regardless of specialty, training or experience. The animosity towards management has been present for so long that it hardly seems fair to call it part of the climate; at this point, it's almost more like part of the landscape. A couple of years ago, the intelligent yet independent faction in the office sported signs on their cube walls announcing "I survived Clamp-Down 2004!" We talked about having t-shirts made. The morale problem, the animosity towards management, those have been part of our landscape for that long.

At home, the climate is calmer. My partner and I do our best to support each other, and I've stopped discussing work at home because I need to leave it at the office. We're still learning how to live together, though. After 6 months, we've got the fairly obvious stuff down, but there's still nights when I can't sleep and days when we completely misjudge what the other wants or needs. Our attitudes towards money and saving are different - I prefer to save for a goal now and spend later when I know that the money is there. He relies on being able to earn more money later to fill in the gaps created by spending now. And that's something that we need to work on when we can approach it mindfully.

I've hit my time limit on morning pages, so will have to come back and edit this later.

Edited to continue typing

The physical climate has been a challenge. This is the Northwest. It rains. Some years it doesn't rain much at all, like last year, and the lakes and reservoirs start to dry up, like they did last summer. Others, it doesn't do anything but rain. Like this one.

I don't know about record breaking, but it rained almost continuously from January until March, and when it didn't rain, it was grey and threatening. Needless to say, for a nature photographer, that much rainfall is difficult. While I have rain gear and I have protective covering for my camera, there's just nothing particularly photogenic about rainy, wet, grey days. Or trees still dormant for winter. Or flowers that haven't bloomed yet. I often consider Imbolc the start of spring - after all, there's been winter holidays already, let's move on to the next thing. I get impatient. Not that I start out as a very patient person in the first place.... But lock me up inside with my camera for more than a month, and I run out of things to shoot indoors. As intrigued as I am by the concept of Food Photography, the mandate not to waste food is too strong in me. I need to use food that will get eaten, not prepare it, shoot it, then throw it out. And preparing garnishes, etc, takes both time and money. Oh, I could do it, but it won't get me outdoors into nature, where I need to be to ground and take in calm, smooth energy.

So, where was I.... I run out of things to shoot indoors after about a month. Mostly because I need to get outside, away from the city, or at least to a spot where I can pretend the city doesn't exist around me. Away from people. And the climate this winter hasn't been conducive to that. Which affects the climate inside myself. I'm an impatient person - I don't knit because I want something where I can see results now. I'm working on an altered book that is probably the maximum of my patience. Being shut away waiting for the weather to clear up enough to get back outside tries my patience and fails. Most of all, I get fidgety as the impatience builds up and sits there, pulling my attention. I feel sluggish for not moving around as much - exercising indoors has never had much appeal for me.

The climate at work affects me, too. Working for autocrats who have previously removed positions solely because the people in those positions were open about disagreeing with them means none of us dare say anything to them about how unhappy we are with the direction they're taking our company. Clamping down on emotions like that, even just for the 8 hour day, is unhealthy, and I wind up walking around frustrated and angry. Emotions that I could drain if I could just get outside to appreciate the rest of the world and put things back into perspective. Since I can't get outside where I need to be - even if it stopped raining, water and snow levels were so high and low respectively that I couldn't reach the places that I wanted to be - finding some kind of outlet for the negative emotions has been 3 times more difficult. So I've been stuck with them for longer. And at home, learning to balance with my DH-to-be, 6 months into living under the same roof, things are better. We laugh and play and that helps. But some days we squabble over housework or money, and that makes home a little bit less helpful. The squabbles are, I think, healthy, or would be if I could restrain my tendency to be abusive. Overall, though, we are moving towards understanding each other and setting up paths to a strong relationship through compromise.

Hoo, that's a lot about climates.