Just over a year ago I decided to write my thoughts down in a journal. I kept reading all kinds of stuff about bullet journals and productivity and efficiency and just gettin’ shit done. I am all about gettin’ shit done, but then I realized my life is pretty boring and I really don’t need to organize my day with a bullet journal. But I liked the ideas of bullet points so I just started writing down ideas in point form.
I am getting to the taco part. Eventually.
I reviewed the two small journals that I have filled over the last 15 months and all in all this has been a good thing. I liked that I can completely vent to the journal and sometimes I actually feel better after. Writing shit down has helped me think about goals (realistic and unrealistic) and even on occasion, allowed me to think of a strategy to figure out a problem.
So most of what I wrote down fell into these categories:
To work at Chipmunk Inc, you need a lot of patience. Super human amounts of patience. It’s exhausting. Not just with the customers, but the Overlords who seem hell bent on making Things As Difficult As Possible. So I wrote down a lot of my frustrations with a department that only operates in crisis mode. If there is no crisis, one has to be created. Efficiency and ease are not part of the plan. You can see how frustrating and confusing this environment can be if you love efficiency and ease.
Early on I actually wrote out some notes for an idea at work to make things easier and more efficient but that pitch went nowhere. Then slowly (I am not the brightest bulb when it comes to office politics) learned that the crisis mode is never going to go away. People will go out of their way to sabotage ideas (especially when they promote efficiency and ease) because by doing so, their job may be eliminated cause they will not needed. So crisis mode has to ever present. Like when I made an innocent joke about someone defrauding the company in an email and someone had to jump in and give me a talking to, because the person making money selling our product illegally might get triggered and complain. Some might call this supervisin’, I call it busy work. Or micromanaging. Take your pick.
So venting to the journal about unmanageable work work load, incompetent leadership and a complete absence of resources to do the job, actually worked. I was slightly less stressed and depressed. I was still depressed and stressed but I was able to work through it.
But my temper did get the best of me. I asked politely over and over and over again, nine times in total for a very reasonable concession concerning our work flow and it was rejected over and over and over again. By three different supervisors. It was extremely frustrating because the ones rejecting the request over and over and over again had never actually done the job of their subordinates so they were unfamiliar (oh why am I being polite, I mean clueless) why this request was so important and why I kept pushing for a change.
Sooooo if you only respond to crisis mode, then I will create a crisis. I probably pushed the envelope a little too far (apparently my co-workers were highly entertained by my shenanigans) but the it worked. I had a good idea what was going to happen next, a meeting with a couple of supervisors, so I took the time to write down in my journal how I was going to approach things in this meeting. I was able to organized and write out my strategy. Sure this strategy involved out and out manipulation of emotions which I don’t like to do, but it had to be done. In the end I had a plan and was prepared for the meeting AND I won. AND I got a high five from a co-worker.
Worth the cost of a $3 notebook.
Okay I am getting to the taco part.
Waiting for Public Transit
And waiting. And waiting, and waiting. Last February I actually spent 15 hours in one week waiting for the bus. There are many entries about the incompetency of the transit higher ups (I always thank the drivers, the problems are not their fault). There were a lot of notes about the bus not showing up, the bus being late, having to walk the last 1-2 km to my destination because getting two buses to connect was Not Going To Happen. Then I realized, it’s okay to be pissed off.
There is a lot of talk about learning to not sweat stuff or go with the flow and not to be irritated. Nope, I want to be pissed off. There is really no reason to internalize my annoyance. No sane person should be okay with standing in -38C weather for an hour waiting for a bus. This endless waiting took any gumption out of me when I finally arrived at work, but bills have to be paid.
I lost my hat and I was a little bummed but it will eventually go to charity and I can buy another hat.
The main goal of journaling was to gain insight and possibly think of things to write for this blog. So here are a few examples of my deep thoughts.
Finally the part about the damn tacos!
I really like to make lists. I come from a long ling of list makers so it’s not unexpected. To do lists, bills to be paid lists, budgets which are lists but with numbers, grocery lists. Lists of DIY tasks and the materials I required. I made tacos quite often last year. I’m gonna brag here, but my veggie tacos are fucking delicious. But after recording a lot of lists involving taco ingredients and very little insight, I declared I am more than tacos!
I had schadenfreude one day and then felt bad later. Now I only wish schadenfreude on dictators.
I am always in denial when I get a cold. People get colds in winter, get over it you idiot.
Recognition that it’s okay to spend a little money on yourself. I don’t know if anyone noticed because people live in their own bubble.
I hate being dishonest day in and day out. Lies of omissions, little white lies, big whoppers. I had an honest conversation one day and when the person received a polite but honest answer, he looked like I’d punched him in the face. I felt relaxed after being honest but also a little disappointed that I have to avoid the truth in order to avoid getting screamed at all day long.
I bought a couch, twice. Nearly went mad. I am sitting on it, it’s quite comfy.
If I was rich, I’d be all about stealth wealth.
I should be better about giving to charity. I have been.
No matter how hard you plan and execute sometimes things just end up falling apart. So the lesson learned is try not to have too many things that can break and then you don’t have to deal with the constant upkeep. More often than not, I don’t need what I think I desperately need. You can just turn your back on things and everything will be okay. The mental health crisis in the US has turned my job into that of a life coach/therapist to help people manage their stuff. No, of course that is not my actual job.
I was sad when Bill’s sister died young. Life is unfair. We all know this, even little kids know this, but it’s never fun to be reminded.
Watching people who are competent in their lives is comforting. Some times I am jealous of their accomplishments but then I think about it and realize it’s cause they learned how to do the work and followed through. I still think a lot of success comes down to luck but also good planning and execution. Don’t get distracted by your jealousy but focus on what they did to be successful.
I miss quiet places.
If you haven’t quite figured it out, I plan to continue writing in my journal and eating veggie tacos. You might want to give both a try.