Friday, December 17, 2010

The Futility of Resistance

"I'm going to turn you down," I wrote this morning, exhausted and overwhelmed with what has been an intense and difficult week. I have had very early and very late meetings. I have had vicious and lengthy arguments. I've had precious little sleep and too much exposure to people, leaving me easily disgruntled.

"Are you glad I came?" Doug asked as we sat together on my loveseat and watched television after eating a dinner I made. I smiled, glancing across the room at the flowers he brought me, the arrangement festive and happy and sweet, and replied in the affirmative. Resting my head on his shoulder, I started my next phone call, listening quietly as I laid my fingertips on his wrist.

It's simultaneously wonderful to know someone so sweet and attentive and awful to not be sure about growing more serious. So there's futility somewhere in this dating exercise but hell if I know which side it's on.


"She makes me feel old," I told Sibling as we walked toward the coffee shop in search of peppermint mochas. "I was telling my mom that I remembered being like her. Full of ideas and passion and this sense of urgent frustration that we weren't working harder or doing more." I sighed.

"We're cynical now," Sibling offered when I lapsed into silence and I nodded.

"Given that I'm so tired, I was so tempted to be impatient," I confessed. "But that's not what I want her impression to be. So I said a prayer and took deep breaths and focused on listening. And she had good ideas. They're not new ideas - we've all suggested them at one point - but I think it's important to keep the dream alive. To hope that some new energy and enthusiasm can trigger even a small change that means we're more effective to someone. Somewhere."

"Good for you," Sibling decided and I accepted her praise with a smile. "Are you getting whipped cream?" she asked as we waited in line.

"Totally," I replied. "With chocolate syrup on top."


"Do what you need to do," I whispered, leaving a meeting to take a phone call and throwing up my hand when I realized I had 50 emails to read and another call beeped impatiently in the background. "I think it's a bad idea, but I don't have time to discuss it anymore!"

But I dreamed about it - how the team did what they wanted and I thought it was wrong and the world melted around us into some puddle of catastrophe. So I left another meeting and put a different call on hold today and prepared to battle once more.

I reminded myself to be kind - that I'm blessed in my professional and personal life and want to make others feel good, not swipe at them as if I am an angry bear or rabid elephant. I complimented their efforts. I understood their analysis. I offered to help them continue it. And I reiterated that they were pursuing a non-ideal solution.

Then I sagged in relief when they finally agreed. I avoid dripping disaster after wading through the puddle of catastrophe for one more day. In doing so, I realized once again that it was not because I outranked them and that sarcasm and derision had a non-ideal effect. Though frustratingly inefficient, the best way through these situations is patience, understanding and an open mind.


Finally, let's talk medication. This week was difficult - busy and fraught with tension and exhausting - but I was awake before 6AM and out the door well before 8 each morning. I put my head down and made sure to attend meetings, participate in dialogue, pray for patience to deal with challenging colleagues. I need to selectively inhibit my serotonin reuptake in order to function. So I'm careful to swallow a pill each night so that I'm able to travel and work and interact with people I find funny and smart and otherwise compelling.

Trying to get around that is - for me - just silly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Those are very lovely flowers! How romantic of Doug to have given them to you!

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