Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Call of Happiness....Is It Coming From Inside The House?

Things are decidely chilly today at Nonsense HQ.  Landlord still working on hooking up the heat.  But I’m certainly not here to discuss the weather inside or outside my office, as that would be officially boring.  I’m here to talk about the weather inside my head, which is partly cloudy with a chance of sunshine.  Enjoy!
My last blog post was a consideration of the fact that although I have all the elements of a fabulous life (love interest, quality friends, good job, creative outlets, decent living situation, today’s heat debacle not withstanding), I still feel cranky and dissatisfied sometimes.  As my most treasured pastime is overthinking, I’ve been ruminating on that quite a bit lately.  Although it’s not expected to feel great every day in every way, I have been analyzing what components bring joy to a life, mostly in terms of my own.
First let’s start with the necessary evil that is WORK.  My sweetie has a “normal” job in corporate America…while comparing days, he more often than not has had multiple meetings.  Meetings about past meetings, about future meetings, meetings about the efficiency of past and future meetings.  It all got to be so ridiculous sounding to me that I asked him, “In the twenty minutes a day you’re not in a meeting, what EXACTLY do you DO?  Do you have a job description?”  He thought it over and replied succinctly, “I opine in regards to credit potential”.  I was then bemused as I hadn’t heard anyone use the word “opine” as their job related action word….mostly I hear things like “serve”, or “supervise”, or “create content”, or “delegate”, or "look busy" or whatever.  Which got me thinking about the importance of one’s opinion.  We all have them, obviously, but how much of life’s satisfaction is derived from having our point of view validated and respected?  In the workplace and beyond?  Hmm.  Let’s start with my job.  As I do not have anyone who directly oversees my work in the sky, I don’t feel that my opinion is actively of interest to my employer.  Don’t get me wrong, I know there are Ideas and Suggestions websites and avenues to submit all of my fabulous work related ideas, should I ever have any.  And there is something to be said for being an anonymous cog in something turning.  I am replaceable when I’m sick, I don’t take work home with me, I am often pleased with my decision to be a number.  I have relied on getting job satisfaction from the living, breathing people I provide service for, the passengers and my co-workers.  Flying has become a more arduous chore for all of us, by the time the passengers get onboard they have been searched and poked and prodded and herded and are sometimes are at their breaking point for any number of reasons.  When you put a group of people in such an environment, inevitably there are a small number of people with big needs who get all the attention.  After putting out their fires, you then divide up the time and energy you have left to tend to the folks who just are getting from point A to point B without commotion and try to provide them with a pleasant experience.  The last few years I've sensed more strain in the attitude of the general public….as the Man puts the smack down on all of us, expecting more and more and offering less and less, the trickle down effect can be an overall sense of melancholy and defeat…..combined with personal burn out makes the whole experience not as fun as they made it sound in brochure.
But I know job related angst is more the norm than the exception and there are certainly worse fates than telling people to have a Coke and smile and ending up in San Diego.  Which leads to the happiness derived from the life outside the tube.  I recently read a story with the folks at 2nd Story at In Fine Spirits…it was, as always, an amazing experience.  In the car after the show, I mostly made comments about what others had said to me about the show.  This was countered with, “Maybe the important thing isn't what others thought about it, it’s what YOU thought about it”.   Cue overanalyzing machine.  I came up with the hypothesis that since I didn’t feel my work was providing me with positive feedback lately, that I was hungry for evidence that my ideas were important or meaningful or at the very least entertaining.  Perhaps I’ve grown addicted to the Facebook “like” button concept of life, that you’re only as good as the strokes you’re getting AT THIS MOMENT, who knows.  It was brought to my attention that I have a life filled with people who appreciate my opinions and that they make that clear to me all the time.  Yep, true.  So this satisfaction I’m endlessly seeking…perhaps it is indeed a Do It Yourself project.  I'm starting to come to grips with the idea that although I'm convinced to some degree that life’s highs are centered around our connections with others, I must admit that not giving a rip about what anyone else thinks about me is a pretty liberating concept and may be the key to getting to the next level in the video game I call E Life.
Next possible project…..NaNoWriMo.  Writing a novel in November…..50,000 words in 30 days.  For real?  Can it be done?  Stay tuned.

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