Friday, March 15, 2013

Wheel of Fortune

Lately there has been some super-ultra top-secret stuff going on at my work at the highest levels of the organization.  It's been quite a roller-coaster ride.  This is how a typical week has played out lately:

Monday:  We're doomed.  Start updating your CV.

Tuesday:  High five!  Everything is going to work out.  Log off of Workopolis and get back to your routine.

Wednesday:  Everything is fantastic!  We're all getting promotions, raises, and bonuses!  Start picking out the big house you want to move into.

Thursday:  OMG it's all over.  We're heading for bankruptcy.

Friday:  It's all still up in the air.  The lawyers want more money in order to work things out.

Needless to say, it's been stressful.  I've been more or less able to maintain my optimism, or at least my equanimity, pretty well.  But after a couple of months of this see-sawing up and down, I started feeling seasick.  What is the current state of affairs?  Still unresolved!  However, I am keeping my chin up.

Here are a couple of things I think of when worry starts to eat away at me.

The Mermaid Girl.  I watched a documentary on TV showing how this little girl whose legs had grown stuck together went through life with her parents.  She had a lot of medical challenges, to put it mildly.  What struck me to the core was the courage shown by every member of that family: mom, dad, and Shiloh.  The love they had for each other was stunning.  In one scene, the mother and daughter are talking about an upcoming surgery that Shiloh is facing.  Shiloh is naturally frightened and dreading the pain.  Her mom looks her right in the eyes and prompts her: "And what are we going to do?"  Shiloh answers firmly, without hesitation:  "We're going to be brave, and we're going to get through it."

When it starts looking like my job might evaporate, and I find myself asking "What am I going to do?"  I always answer myself with "I'm going to be brave and I'm going to get through it."  It really helps.

I also think of a family I saw in a documentary about schizophrenia* in children.  This couple had two young kids, and the older one, the daughter, suffered from frightening hallucinations and out-of-control behaviour.  They were doing their best to deal with her, and then her little brother, still only a toddler, started to show signs of the same illness.  Can you imagine how devastated those parents must have felt?

The dad of the family was absolutely overwhelmed to the point of numbness, exhaustion, and incredulity.  That's how I expect I would feel in those circumstances.  Just getting through each day with those two kids was a battle.

The mom was amazing.  Of course I'm sure there are plenty of times when she breaks down, gets exhausted, and wants it all to stop.  She's only human.  But the side of her that she presented to the camera was fiercely upbeat, loving, solution-oriented, and optimistic.  She said that she has accepted that "This is our challenge."  And she is facing it with gusto.

When I start asking myself "why me?" and wanting to run away from my problems, I sit up straight and declare: This is my challenge.  They I resolve to face it with everything I've got.

*To be clear, schizophrenia is a mental illness whose distinguishing characteristics, among others, are sensory hallucinations and an inability to distinguish what is real.  The term is often used casually to refer to Multiple Personality Disorder, but that is a separate and distinct condition.


LL Cool Joe said...

"Just getting through each day with those two kids was a battle."

Getting through each day must be a battle for the kids too. I know quite a bit about schizophrenia, which I can't discuss but yeah, what a brave family.

Puts other things in perspective doesn't it when we see things like that?

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Hope the work stuff turns out to be the more positive possibilities.

DarcKnyt said...

As usual, inspiring attitude and references, Spark.

I'll say a prayer for your job situation to go as He intends for you.

Jenski said...

Isn't it amazing how stress is easier to deal with if you decide on an attitude or way to deal with it? Good for you, and I hope work evens out ASAP.

[DarcKnyt, just because I'm like that, I would add a *She. ;-)]

Granny Annie said...

Dealing with two non-challenged children is difficult enough so any child with special needs is only for the very strongest of parents.

About your job, it's just a job and whatever happens will not kill you.

G. B. Miller said...

I can sympathize a little with the mental health aspect comparison, and at times it can be overwhelming (like Joey, I have a intimate familiarity with a particular type of mental illnes in our family that I'm not keen on speaking about publicly), but basically, it's a matter of keeping a positive attitude as things go to smithereenies around you.

You can't control the outcome, but you can control how it affects you.

Lynn said...

I was jokingly (but half seriously) complaining to my accountant that the IRS should pick on someone who actually makes money. And she told me of another client who is an out of work architect, who made $5000 last year. He had a heart attack and a seizure last year, also, and had to ride the bus to get to her office. He can't drive because of the seizure. So I felt better immediately.

I hope it all works out up there.

DarcsFalcon said...

That kind of uncertainty really takes its toll after a while. You're right - attitude has such a huge impact on how you cope with stress. Our expression here at The Darc House is "We just have to cowboy up!"

Of course, it's always easier said than done, and I'll be saying a prayer that all works out well for all of you. *hugs*