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Saturday, August 22, 2015

"People"

Last week I gave a link for a paper describing "super feelers" and was struck by the part about rescuing others and denying my own needs.  A cascade of self-harming decisions flowed through my mind, and I thought about how ungrateful a lot of the recipients were when I fell on the sword for them.  Obviously, not one of my better life strategies.

This has been a very current concern for me this week because my office is downsizing space and I had to move my office into a large, busy room (with 30 yrs of hoarding).  Adding to my concerns, this room was the domain of a very nice woman who has been getting her hours cut.  I really, really didn't want to add to her unhappiness and I have been sleepless with worries about how to make the space work for everybody.  I sternly kept telling myself not to sacrifice myself in office design, but so dreaded the disappointment  or tears when my coworker found herself shoved in a dark corner.

The construction leader yelled at me to vacate the other office immediately or he'd put all my stuff in storage, despite the fact that there wasn't room to turn around in the other room.  It was jammed as we tried to take things out of it to make space for me.  That super feeler paper clearly says I don't respond well to raised voices.  Then I wrenched my shoulder.  Yeah, this week sucked.

But, I managed to situate both myself and my coworker by the windows, and she's thrilled with the new arrangement.  I'm not happy to lose my privacy, but I feel like it's the best I can do.  Our desks face each other, and she chattered happily while drills and saws echoed through the wall in my previous sanctuary.

...Carefully arrange bird skull, feathers, and nest on my shelf...

For my facebook friends who saw that one of the priests gave me blanket absolution for swearing, well, can you see why?  Someone told the construction leader to lay off.  His workers gave me a hand with some things behind his back.  A coworker helped figure out how to make the space work.  Someone gave me a shot of bourbon.  I don't approve of drinking at work, but I felt gratitude and the warmth of kindness spread through my bloodstream.  Another coworker loaned me a book by David Sedaris which actually made me laugh out loud while cuddling my puppy in our cocoon at home.

It's a moment in time, but it shows people in their true form.  There was no need for yelling and adding to the stress of things.  One person behaved badly, but all the other people either stayed out of the way or helped.  Sometimes it's hard to remember percentages, but small acts of kindness go a long way. When multiple people do them they add up to a larger quantity of kindness.

We can choose whether our experiences are positive or negative based on which people we focus on.  When we choose our side, it effects everyone else.  We either gripe and complain, or we smile and pat an arm in sympathy.  We all have the power to effect someone else's life.  Choose to make their lives better.

Just to show you a better sense of scale
Still on corner 3 of my floor project.  This is not a snake in the grass, because clearly, there's no grass.  This is a garter snake, and they won't bite unless you abuse them and stick your finger in their mouths.  (Which I know from personal experience.)  I think I must've done a good job on this corner so far because a mosquito got in the house last night and it was disturbed by the snake and tried to hide under a leaf :)

12 comments:

  1. This snake corner of your floor is simply gorgeous, Linda! It sounds like you are getting your "it's-me-or-them" buttons pushed rather frequently in your work situation. It's such a steep learning curve to learn how to honor and co-exist with others, especially when we are the highly-sensitive types. Worth the journey, but it can get bloody. The Vedas Scriptures, I once read, say that "relationship" is the highest (read: hardest) form of yoga. ♡ (Oh, and your comment functions not fixed, I just figured out a way to comment other than the Wordpress choice. :-)

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    1. Thanks! Up till now most of my yoga has been focused on mastering the corpse pose :) I'm glad you found a work-around for the comments. How did you do it? I haven't been able to figure out the problem on my end.

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    2. corpse pose :-)
      I commented as name/URL, instead of the Wordpress option (and gave the URL of my blog)

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    3. Thanks, that's good to know. Not sure why Wordpress has something against me.

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  2. I'm actually writing about a super-feeler in my current novel. Nice to hear your take on it. Hope you have a nice set of headphones for sharing that space.

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    1. It's nice to think that I've in some way contributed to your writing. Good luck with it!

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  3. Your floor is looking fantastic Linda....you won't want to walk on it! I am glad you got the problems at work resolved with the least conflict.....and breathe!!! x

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    1. Thanks Jane! So far I'm mostly wishing my dog would quit walking on the floor, especially when the paint is wet.

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  4. Mosquitoes are the toughest critics. Good for you!

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  5. Hopefully my cats don't force me to downsize into a closet or something. They definitely think they're the boss. It sounds like you handled it well. Sharing space is tricky.

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  6. Another reason for me to be glad to have a dog? Thankfully, I work with very nice women who will do their best to get along. We'll just call it "cozy" :)

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