This Week Brought to You by the Letter “R”Posted: June 9, 2012
On Tuesday, I sent my boss an email that read, “I’m taking off the rest of the week to rebuild resiliency.” This is code for “If I have to come into work even one more day, I can’t be held accountable for my own actions.” Which is code for “Coworkers are driving me crazy and I may have to kill them.”
I knew I’d reached that point where it’s just better for everyone concerned if I stopped showing up when I melted down over the new multi-function copier device a.k.a. copier on steroids. It requires a graduate degree to operate. I’m not kidding. After about 15 minutes in an infinite loop where it would not let me copy and it would not let me exit copy and go to scan, I found myself screaming at the top of my lungs, “Really? Can we not go one freakin’ day at this company without drastically changing something?”
This, of course, was after I discovered my trashcan was missing and was informed that housekeeping was no longer emptying the trash in our offices so all in-office trashcans had been confiscated. You can’t make this stuff up. Instead, I was given a shoebox-sized plastic basket and instructed to empty it in the closest public trashcan as needed. There is nothing more disgusting than an apple core and a boogery kleenex sitting in a plastic basket on your desk waiting to be emptied.
Note that “resiliency” starts with an “R”. Just a little help for those of you who never watched Sesame Street and are still puzzled by the title of this post.
I’ve also completely lost my ability to filter what comes out of my mouth. So like when somebody asks me, “How’s your day going?” I actually tell them and that’s never a good thing. Most of my conversations end with, “and that’s why I’m spending the rest of the afternoon working on my resume.” Resume, another word that begins with “R”.
So Tuesday night, we packed up our three dogs and headed to North Topsail Beach. Three dogs? Yes, that’s correct. On Sunday, we rescued a corgi from a broken home. He was being used as a weapon in a divorce. I mean, metaphorically. It’s not like they were hitting each other over the head with him.
Tucker was the wife’s dog. He’d been purchased without the husband’s consent and then abandoned when the wife moved out. The wife said, “Well if you get the house, you get the damn dog too.” Really? Because I would have been, “You can have the damn house but I get the dog.” Sort of speaks to the character of a person, don’t you think? Anyway, rescue is another R-word, and is probably not something one should do when their resiliency needs rebuilding.
On Wednesday, the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center on Topsail Island released 14 recovered turtles back into the ocean and we were there for both the opening ceremony and the actual release. Jean Beasley, who heads up the organization, gave a stirring Scarlett O’Hara as-God-as-my-witness-I’ll-never-go-hungry-again speech about how nothing, not turtle hospital overcrowding, not delays in building the new hospital, not lazy-good-for-nothing-contractors-that-promise-they’ll-see-you-tomorrow-and-don’t-show-up-again-for-two-weeks could keep them from fulfilling their promise to these turtles to send them back home.
And this made me think of Jerri and her recovery. I haven’t seen much of her since she confided she’d used cocaine, yet again, and due to low resiliency, I just haven’t had the energy to engage. Jean’s speech reminded me of the promise I gave Jerri when she moved here. I promised I would not abandon her the way our parents had. And here I am, not abandoning really, but certainly distancing. Hmmm.
Bear, one of the turtles that was released, had been with the hospital since 2009. They really didn’t know what was wrong with her, possibly something viral. Again, this reminds me of Jerri because I’ve never been truly convinced that we have the right diagnosis. But Bear did recover. I like to think this is God’s way of telling me there is hope.
It also reminded me of a story in the current issue (28, Summer 2012) of the NAMI Voice, called Loving a Sibling with a Chronic Illness by Trudelle Thomas. In it, she talks about changing the way she related to her brother with schizophrenia. She encountered a concept called “unconditional positive regard“–the idea that all people need and deserve unconditional acceptance. She realized she’d been treating her brother as a problem not a person deserving unconditional acceptance. So she stopped acting like a second mother and started becoming a friend. She didn’t give advice unless he asked for it. She stopped focusing on his illness and instead began sharing more about her own life with him and even asking for his advice on occasion. Trudelle also shared wisdom from The Dance of Anger, a book by Harriet Goldhor Lerner which I’ve also read and recommend. Harriet writes that a person who is an over-functioner (who, me?) can cause others to remain under-functioners and actually block them from becoming more capable. In a sense, you need to release the under-functioner to live their own life.
So I’m ending this week with reflection on resiliency, rescuing, releasing, recovery and relationships. And also an apology for the seemingly random nature of this post. It’s totally “R’s” fault.
- 14 Sea Turtles Returned To Ocean In North Carolina (charlotte.cbslocal.com)